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Full text of "Arms and the man; an anti-romantic comedy in three acts"

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ARMS AND THE MAN 



Arms and the Man: An 
Anti-romantic Comedy 
in Three Acts. By 
Bernard Shaw. 



' A<ina virumqw (ana* 



,1 



4" 



Constable and Company 
Ltd. London : 1920. 



(Till flay hat ken publicly piyformed within the United Kingdom. It t. 
entered at Stationer? Hall and the Library of Congress, U.S.J1, All righti 
retemtd.] 



Printed by R. & R. CLARK, LIMITZD, Edinburgh 



\ 



. _ HERALD SQUARE 

AVENUE THEATRE, THEAT ^ y 

2i,t Afrd 1894. ijth & ^ (emter I?94 ' 

Major Paul Petkoff . . . James Welch H. M. Pitt 

Nicola Orlando Barnett Walden Ramsay 

Major Sergiut Saranoff . . Bernard Gould Henry Jewett 

Captain Eluntschli . . . Yorke Stephens Richard Mansfield 

Catherine Petkoff .... Mrs. Charles Calvert Mrs. McKee Rankin 

Louka Florence Farr Amy Busby 

Raina Alma Murray Beatrice Cameron 



( All rights reserved. Entered at Stationers' Hall, and it the Library 
of Congress, Washington, U.S.A. Amateurs desirous of performing this 
play should apply to Miss Elizabeth Marbury, 20 Green Street, Leicester 
Square, London, W.C. 



ARMS AND THE MAN 



ACT I 

Night. A lady's bedchamber in Bulgaria, in a small town 
near the Dragoman Pass, late in -November in the year 1885. 
Through an open window with a little balcony, a peak of the 
Balkans, wonderfully white and beautiful in the starlit snow, 
seems quite close at hand, though it is really miles away. The 
interior of the room is not like anything to be seen in the east 
of Europe. It is half rich Bulgarian, half cheap Viennese, 
Above the head of the bed, which stands against a little wall 
cutting off the corner of the room diagonally, is a painted wooden 
shrine, blue and gold, with an ivory image of Christ, and a 
light hanging before it in a pierced metal ball suspended by three 
chains. The principal seat, placed towards the other side of the 
room and opposite the window, is a Turkish ottoman. The 
counterpane and hangings of the bed, the window curtains, the 
little carpet, and all the ornamental textile fabrics in the room 
are oriental and gorgeous : the paper on the walls is occidental 
and paltry. The washstand, against the wall on the side nearest 
the ottoman and window, consists of an enamelled iron basin with 
a pail beneath it in a painted metal frame, and a single towel on 
the rail at the side. A chair near it is of Austrian bent wood, 
with cane seat. The dressing table, between the bed and the 
window, is an ordinary pine table, covered with a cloth of many 



4 Arms and the Man Act I 

colors, with an expensive toilet mirror on it. The door is on 
the side nearest the bed; and there is a chest of drawers between. 
This chest of drawers is also covered by a variegated native cloth; 
and on it there is a pile of paper backed novels, a box of chocolate 
creams, and a miniature easel with a large photograph of an 
extremely handsome officer, whose lofty bearing and magnetic 
glance can be felt even from the portrait. The room is lighted 
by a candle on the chest of drawers, and another on the dressing 
table with a box of matches beside it. 

The window is hinged doorwise and stands wide open. Gut- 
side, a pair of wooden shutters, opening outwards, also stand open. 
On the balcony a young lady, intensely conscious of the romantic 
beauty of the night, and of the fact that her own youth and 
beauty are part of it, is gazing at the snowy Balkans. She 
is covered by a long mantle of furs, worth, on a moderate estimate, 
about three times the furniture of her room. 

Her reverie is interrupted by her mother, Catherine Petkoff, 
a woman over forty, imperiously energetic, with magnificent 
black hair and eyes, who might be a very splendid specimen of 
the wife of a mountain farmer, but is determined to be a 
Viennese lady, and to that end wears a fashionable tea gown on 
all occasions. 

CATHERINE [entering hastily, full of good news] Raina ! [She 
pronounces it Rah-eena, with the stress on the ee]. Raina ! 
[She goes to the bed, expecting to find Raina there]. Why, 
where ? [Raina looks into the room]. Heavens, child ! are 
you out in the night air instead of in your bed ? Youll 
catch your death. Louka told me you were asleep. 

RAINA [coming in] I sent her away. I wanted to be 
alone. The stars are so beautiful ! What is the matter: 

CATHERINE. Such news ! There has been a battle. 

RAINA [her eyes dilating] Ah ! [She throws the cloak on the 
ottoman and comes eagerly to Catherine in her nightgown, 4 
pretty garment, but evidently the only one she has on]. 

CATHERINE. A great battle at Slivnitza ! A victory ! 
And it was won by Sergius. 



Act I Arms and the Man 5 

RAINA [with a cry of delight] Ah ! [Rapturously] Oh, 
mother ! [ Then, with sudden anxiety] Is father safe ? 

CATHERINE. Of course : he sends me the news. Sergius 
is the hero of the hour, the idol of the regiment. 

RAINA. Tell me, tell me. How was it? [Ecstatically] 
Oh, mother, mother, mother ! [She pulls her mother down 
on the ottoman ; and they kiss one another frantically], 

CATHERINE [with surging enthusiasm] You cant guess how 
splendid it is. A cavalry charge ! think of that ! He 
defied our Russian commanders acted without orders 
led a charge on his own responsibility headed it himself 
was the first man to sweep through their guns. Cant you 
see it, Raina : our gallant splendid Bulgarians with their 
swords and eyes flashing, thundering down like an avalanche 
and scattering the wretched Servians and their dandified 
Austrian officers like chaff". And you ! you kept Sergius 
waiting a year before you would be betrothed to him. Oh, 
if you have a drop of Bulgarian blood in your veins, you 
will worship him when he comes back. 

RAINA. What will he care for my poor little worship 
after the acclamations of a whole army of heroes ? But no 
matter : I am so happy so proud ! [She rises and walks 
about excitedly]. It proves that all our ideas were real after all. 

CATHERINE [indignantly] Our ideas real ! What do you 
mean } 

RAINA. Our ideas of what Sergius would do our 
patriotism our heroic ideals. I sometimes used to doubt 
whether they were anything but dreams. Oh, what faithless 
little creatures girls are ! When I buckled on Sergius's 
sword he looked so noble : it was treason to think of dis- 
illusion or humiliation or failure. And yet and yet 
[Quickly] Promise me youll never tell him. 

CATHERINE. Dont ask me for promises until I know 
what I'm promising. 

RAINA. Well, it came into my head just as he was 
holding me in his arms and looking into my eyes, that 
perhaps we only had our heroic ideas because we are so 



6 Arms and the Man Act I 

fond of reading Byron and Pushkin, and because we were 
so delighted with the opera that season at Bucharest. 
Real life is so seldom like that ! indeed never, as far as 
I knew it then. [Remorsefully] Only think, mother, I 
doubted him : I wondered whether all his heroic qualities 
and his soldiership might not prove mere imagination when 
he went into a real battle. I had an uneasy fear that he 
might cut a poor figure there beside all those clever Russian 
officers. 

CATHERINE. A poor figure ! Shame on you ! The 
Servians have Austrian officers who are just as clever as 
our Russians ; but we have beaten them in every battle 
for all that. 

RAINA \laughing and sitting down again] Yes : I was only 
a prosaic little coward. Oh, to think that it was all true 
that Sergius is just as splendid and noble as he looks 
that the world is really a glorious world for women who 
can see its glory and men who can act its romance ! What 
happiness ! what unspeakable fulfilment ! Ah ! [S6e 
throws herself on her knees beside her mother and flings her 
arms passionately round her. They are interrupted by the entry 
of Louka, a handsome, proud girl in a pretty Bulgarian 
peasant's dress with double apron, so defiant that her servility 
to Raina is almost insolent . She is afraid of Catherine, but 
even with her goes as far as she dares. She is just now excited 
like the others ; but she has no sympathy with Raines raptures, 
and looks contemptuously at the ecstasies of the two before she 
addresses them}. 

LOUKA. If you please, madam, all the windows are to be 
closed and the shutters made fast. They say there may 
be shooting in the streets. [Raina and Catherine rise to- 
gether, alarmed\. The Servians are being chased right 
b?ck through the pass ; and they say they may run into the 
town. Our cavalry will be after them ; and our people 
will be ready for them, you may be sure, now theyre 
running away. \She goes out on the balcony, and pulls tht 
outside shutters to ; then steps back into the room]. 



Act I Arms and the Man 7 

RAINA. I wish our people were not so cruel. What 
glory is there in killing wretched fugitives ? 

CATHERINE [&ltsau*sfijke, her housekeeping instincts aroused] 
I must see that everything is made safe downstairs. 

RAINA [to Louka] Leave the shutters so that I can just 
close them if I hear any noise. 

CATHERINE [authoritatively, turning on her way to the door] 
Oh, no, dear : you must keep them fastened. You would 
be sure to drop off to sleep and leave them open. Make 
them fast, Louka. 

LOUKA. Yes, madam. [She fastens them], 

RAINA. Dont be anxious about me. The moment I 
hear a shot, I shall blow out the candles and roll myself 
up in bed with my ears well covered. 

CATHERINE. Quite the wisest thing you can do, my love, 
Good-night. 

RAINA. Good-night. [They kiss one another ; and Raina*i 
emotion comes back for a moment]. Wish me joy of the 
happiest night of my life if only there are no fugitives. 

CATHERINE. Go to bed, dear ; and dont think of them ( 
[She goes out], 

LOUKA [secretly, to Raina] If you would like the shutters 
open, just give them a push like this [she pushes them: they 
open : she pulls them to again]. One of them ought to be 
bolted at the bottom ; but the bolt's gone. 

RAINA [with dignity, reproving her] Thanks, Louka ; but 
we must do what we are told. [Louka makes a grimace]. 
Good-night. 

LOUKA [carelessly] Good-night. [She goes out, swaggering], 

[Raina, left alone, goes to the chest of drawers, and adores 
the portrait there with feelings that are beyond all expression. 
She does not kiss it or press it to her breast, or shew it any 
mark of bodily affection ; but she takes it in her hands and ele- 
vaes_it, like a priestess]. 

RAINA [looking up at the picture] Oh, I shall never be 
unworthy of you any more, my soul*sjixo never, never, 
never. [She replaces it reverently. Then she selects a novel 



8 Arms and the Man Act I 

from the little pile of books. She turns over the leaves 
dreamily ; finds her page ; turns the book inside out at it ; 
and, with a happy sigh, gets into bed and prepares to read 
herself to sleep. But before abandoning herself to fiction, she 
raises her eyes once more, thinking of the blessed reality, and 
murmurs] My hero ! my hero ! [A distant shot breaks the 
quiet of the night outside. She starts, listening ; and two more 
shots, much nearer, follow, startling her so that she scrambles 
out of bed, and hastily blows out the candle on the chest of 
drawers. Then, putting her fingers in her ears, she runs to 
the dressing table, blows out the light there, and hurries back 
to bed in the dark, nothing being visible but the glimmer of 
the light in the pierced ball before the image, and the starlight 
seen through the slits at the top of the shutters. The firing 
breaks out again: there is a startling fusillade quite close at 
hand. Whilst it is still echoing, the shutters disappear, pulled 
open from without, and for an instant the rectangle of snowy 
starlight flashes out with the figure of a man silhouetted in black 
upon it. The shutters close immediately ; and the room is dark 
again. But the silence is now broken by the sound of panting. 
Then there is a scratch ; and the flame of a match is seen in the 
middle of the room]. 

RAINA [crouching on the bed} Who's there ? [The match is 
out instantly']. Who's there ? Who is that ? 

A MAN'S VOICE [in the darkness, subduedly, but threateningly} 
Sh sh ! Dont call out ; or youll be shot. Be good ; and 
no harm will happen to you. [She is heard leaving her bed, 
and making for the door]. Take care : it's no use trying 
to run away. Remember : if you raise your voice my 
revolver will go off. \Commandingly\. Strike a light and 
let me see you. Do you hear. [Another moment of silence 
and darkness as she retreats to the dressing-table. Then she 
lights a candle ; and the mystery is at an end. He is a 
man of about 35, in a deplorable plight, bespattered with mud 
and blood and snow, his belt and the strap of his revolver- 
case keeping together the torn ruins of the blue tunic of a Servian 
artillery officer. All that the candlelight and his unwashed, 



Act I Arms and the Man 9 

unkempt condition make it possible to discern is that be is of 
middling stature and undistinguished appearance, with strong neck 
and shoulders ; a roundish y obstinate looking head covered with 
short, crisp bronze curls ; clear quick blue eyes and good brows 
and mouth ; a hopelessly prosaic nose like that of a strong minded 
baby; trim soldierlike carriage and energetic manner ; and with 
all his wits about him in spite of his desperate predicament : 
even with a sense of the humor of it, without, however, the 
least intention of trijling with it or throwing away a chance. 
He reckons up what he can guess about Raina her age, her 
social position, her character, the extent to which she is 
frightened at a glance, and continues, more politely but still 
most determinedly] Excuse my disturbing you ; but you 
recognise my uniform Servian ! If I'm caught I shall 
be killed. [Menacingly'} Do you understand that ? 

RAINA. Yes. 

MAN. Well, I dont intend to get killed if I can help it. 
[Still more formidably} Do you understand that? [He 
locks the door with a snap]. 

RAINA [disdainfully] I suppose not. [She draws herself 
up superbly, and looks him straight in the face, saying, with 
cutting emphasis] Some soldiers, I know, are afraid of 
death. 

MAN [with grim goodhumor] All of them, dear lady, all 
of them, believe me. It is our duty to live as long as we 
can. Now, if you raise an alarm 

RAINA [cutting him shorf\ You will shoot me. How do 
you know that / am afraid to die ? 

MAN [cunningly] Ah ; but suppose I dont shoot you, what 
will happen then ? Why, a lot of your cavalry the 
greatest blackguards in your army will burst into this 
pretty room of yours and slaughter me here like a pig ; for 
I'll fight like a demon : they shant get me into the street 
to amuse themselves with : I know what they are. Are 
you prepared to receive that sort of company in your 
present undress ? [Raina, suddenly conscious of her night- 
gown, instinctively shrinks^ and gathers it more closely about 



I o Arms and the Man Act I 

her. He watches her, and adds, pitilessly} Hardly presentable, 
ch ? [She turns to the ottoman. He raises his pistol instantly, 
and cries'} Stop ! [She stops']. Where are you going ? 

RAINA [with dignified patience} Only to get my cloak. 

MAN [crossing swiftly to the ottoman and snatching the cloak} 
A good idea! No: I'll keep the cloak ; and you will 
take care that nobody comes in and sees you without it. 
This is a better weapon than the revolver. [He throws the 
pistol down on the ottoman], 

RAINA [revolted} It is not the weapon of a gentleman ! 

MAN. It's good enough for a man with only you to stand 
between him and death. [As they look at one another for a 
moment, Raina hardly able to believe that even a Servian 
officer can be so cynically and selfishly unchivalrous, they are 
startled by a sharp fusillade in the street. The chill of imminent 
death hushes the man's voice as he adds} Do you hear ? If 
you are going to bring those scoundrels in on me you shall 
receive them as you are. [Raina meets his eye with unflinch- 
ing scorn. Suddenly he starts, listening. There is a step 
outside. Someone tries the door, and then knocks hurriedly and 
urgently at it. Raina looks at him, breathless. He throws up 
his head with the gesture of a man who sees that it is all over 
with him, and, dropping the manner he has been assuming to 
intimidate her, fiings the cloak to her, exclaiming, sincerely 
> and kindly} No use : I'm done for. Quick ! wrap yourself 
up : theyre coming ! 

RAINA [catching the cloak eagerly} Oh, thank you. [She 
wraps herself up with great relief. He draws his sabre and 
turns to the door, waiting} 

LOUKA [outside, knocking} My lady, my lady ! Get up, 
quick, and open the door. 

RAINA [anxiously} What will you do ? 

MAN [grimly] Never mind. Keep out of the way. It 
will not last long. 

RAINA [impulsively} I'll help you. Hide yourself, oh, 
hide yourself, quick, behind the curtain. [She seizes him 
by a torn strip of his sleeve, and pulls him towards the window}. 



Act I Arms and the Man 1 1 

MAN [yielding to her~\ Theres just half a chance, if you 
keep your head. Remember : nine soldiers out of ten are 
born fools. [He hides behind the curtain, looking out for a 
moment to say, finally] If they find me, I promise you a fight 
a devil of a fight ! [He disappears. Raina takes off the 
cloak and throws it across t hi foot of the bed. Then, with a 
sleepy, disturbed air, she opens ne door. Louka enters excitedly]. 

LOUKA. A man has been seen climbing up the water- 
pipe to your balcony a Servian. The soldiers want to 
search for him ; and they are so wild and drunk and 
furious. My lady says you are to dress at once. 

RAINA. [as if annoyed at being disturbed] They shall not 
search here. Why have they been let in ? 

CATHERINE [coming in hastily] Raina, darling: are you 
safe ? Have you seen anyone or heard anything ? 

RAINA. I heard the shooting. Surely the soldiers will 
not dare come in here ? 

CATHERINE. I have found a Russian officer, thank 
Heaven : he knows Sergius. [Speaking through the door to 
someone outside] Sir : will you come in now. My daughter 
will receive you. 

A young Russian officer, in Bulgarian uniform, enters, 
sword in hand. 

OFFICER [with soft, feline politeness and stiff military car- 
riage] Good evening, gracious lady : I am sorry to intrude ; 
but there is a fugitive hiding on the balcony. Will you 
and the gracious lady your mother please to withdraw 
whilst we search ? 

RAINA [petulantly] Nonsense, sir : you can see that there 
is no one on the balcony. [She throws the shutters wide 
open and stands with her back to the curtain where the man is 
hidden, pointing to the moonlit balcony. A couple of shots are 
fired right under the window ; and a bullet shatters the glass 
opposite Raina, who winks and gasps, but stands her ground ; 
whilst Catherine screams, and the officer, with a cry of Take 
care ! rushes to the balcony], 

THE OFFICER [on the balcony, shouting savagely down to the 



1 2 Arms and the Man Act I 

street] Cease firing there, you fools : do you hear ? Cease 
firing, damn you ! [He glares down for a moment ; then turns 
to Raina, trying to resume his polite manner]. Could anyone 
have got in without your knowledge ? Were you asleep ? 

RAINA. No : I have not been to bed. 

THE OFFICER [impatiently, coming back into the room] Your 
neighbors have their heads ^o full of runaway Servians 
that they see them everywhere. [Politely] Gracious lady : 
a thousand pardons. Good-night. [Military bow, which 
Raina returns coldly. Another to Catherine, who follows him 
out. Raina closes the shutters. She turns and sees Louka, 
who has been watching the scene curiously~\. 

RAINA. Dont leave my mother, Louka, whilst the 
soldiers are here. [Louka glances at Raina, at the ottoman, 
at the curtain , then purses her lips secretively, laughs to herself, 
and goes out. Raina, highly offended by this demonstration, 
follows her to the door, and shuts it behind her with a slam, locking 
it violently. The man immediately steps out from behind the 
curtain, sheathing his sabre, and dismissing the danger from 
his mind in a businesslike way], 

MAN. A narrow shave ; but a miss is as good as a mile. 
Dear young lady : your servant to the death. I wish for 
your sake I had joined the Bulgarian army instead of the 
Servian. I am not a native Servian. 

RAINA [haughtily] No : you are one of the Austrians who 
set the Servians on to rob us of our national liberty, and 
who officer their army for them. We hate them ! 

MAN. Austrian ! not I. Dont hate me, dear young lady. 
I am a Swiss, fighting merely as a^ professional soldier. I 
joined Servia because it came first ontEeTuaiHium Gwitzer- 
land. Be generous : youve beaten us hollow. 

RAINA. Have I not been generous ? 

MAN. Noble ! heroic ! But I'm not saved yet. 
This particular rush will soon pass through ; but the 
pursuit will go on all night by fits and starts. I must take 
my chance to get off in a quiet interval. You dont mind 
my waiting just a minute or two, do you ? 



Act I Arms and the Man 13 

RAINA. Oh no : I am sorry you will have to go into 
danger again. [Pointing to the ottoman] Wont you sit 
[She breaks off with an irrepressible cry of altrm as she catches 
sight of the pistol. The man, all nerves, shies like a frightened 
horse], 

MAN [irritably'] Dont frighten me like that. What is it ? 

RAINA. Your revolver ! It was staring that officer in the 
face all the time. What an escape ! 

MAN [vexed at being unnecessarily terrified] Oh, is that 
all? 

RAINA [staring at him rather superciliously as she conceives 
a poorer and poorer opinion of him, and feels proportionately 
more and more at her ease] I am sorry I frightened you. 
[She takes up the pistol and hands it to him]. Pray take it 
to protect yourself against me. 

MAN [grinning wearily at the sarcasm as he takes the pistol] 
No use, dear young lady : theres nothing in it. It's not 
loaded. He makes a grimace at it, and drops it disparagingly 
into his revolver case], 

RAINA. Load it by all means. 

MAN. Ive no ammunition. What use are cartridges in 
battle ? I always carry chocolate instead ; and JL finished \ 
the last cake of that hours ago. 

RAINA [outraged in her most cherished ideals of manhood] ' 
Chocolate ! Do you stuff your pockets with sweets J 
like a schoolboy even in the field? 

MAN [hungrily] I wish I had some now. 

Raina stares at him, unable to utter her feelings. Then 
she sails away scornfully to the chest of drawers, and returns 
with the box of confectionery in her hand. 

RAINA. Allow me. I am sorry I have eaten them all 
except these. [She offers him the box]. 

MAN [ravenously] Youre an angel ! [He gobbles the 
comfits]. Creams ! Delicious ! [He looks anxiously to see 
whether there are any more. There are none. He accepts the 
inevitable with pathetic goodhumor, and says, with grateful 
emotion] Bless you, dear lady ! You can always tell an old 



14 Arms and the Man Act I 

soldier by the inside of his holsters and cartridge boxes. 
The young ones carry pistols and cartridges ; the old ones, 
grub. Thank you. [He hands back the box. She snatches 
it contemptuously from him and throws it away. He shies again, 
as if she had meant to strike him]. Ugh ! Dont do things 
so suddenly, gracious lady. It's mean to revenge yourself 
because I frightened you just now. 

RAINA [superbly] Frighten m e ! Do you know, sir, that 
though I am only a woman, I think I am at heart as brave 
as you. 

MAN. I should think so. You havnt been under fire for 
three days as I have. I can stand two days without 
shewing it much ; but no man can stand three days : I'm 
as nervous as a mouse. [He sits down on the ottoman, and 
takes his head in his hinds']. Would you like to see me cry ? 

RAINA [alarmed] No. 

MAN. If you would, all you have to do is to scold me 
just as if I were a little boy and you my nurse. If I were 
in camp now, theyd play all sorts of tricks on me. 

RAINA [a little moved~\ I'm sorry. I wont scold you. 
[Touched by the sympathy in her tone, he raises his head and 
looks gratefully at her : she immediately draws back and says 
stiffly] You must excuse me : our soldiers are not like 
that. [She moves away from the ottoman]. 

MAN. Oh yes they are . There are only two sorts of 
soldiers : old ones and young ones. Ive served fourteen 
years : half of your fellows never smelt powder before. 
Why, how is it that youve just beaten us? Sheer ignor- 
ance of the art of war, nothing else. [Indignantly] I never 
saw anything so unprofessional. 

RAINA [ironically] Oh ! was it unprofessional to beat you ? 

MAN. Well, come ! is it professional to throw a regiment 
of cavalry on a battery of machine guns, with the dead 
certainty that if the guns go off not a horse or man will 
ever get within fifty yards of the fire ? I couldnt believe 
my eyes when I saw it. 

RAINA [eagerly turning to him, as all her enthusiasm and her 



Act I Arms and the Man 15 

dream* of glory rush back on her] Did you see the great 
cavalry charge ? Oh, tell me about it. Describe it to me. 
MAN. You never saw a cavalry charge, did you ? 

RAINA. HOW COuld I ? 

MAN. Ah, perhaps not of course ! Well, it's a funny 
sight. It's like slinging a handful of peas against a window ^ 
pane : first one comes ; then two or three close behind 
him ; and then all the rest in a lump. 

RAINA [her eyes dilating as she raises her clasped hands 
ecstatically] Yes, first One ! the bravest of the brave ! 

MAN [prosaically'] Hm ! you should see the poor devil 
pulling at his horse. 

RAINA. Why should he pull at his horse ? 

MAN [impatient of so stupid a question] It's running away 
with him, of course : do you suppose the fellow wants to 
get there before the others and be killed ? Then they all 
come. You can tell the young ones by their wildness and 
their slashing. The old ones come bunched up under the 
number one guard : they know that theyre mere pro- 
jectiles, and that it's no use trying to fight. The wounds 
are mostly broken knees, from the horses cannoning to- 
gether. 

RAINA. Ugh ! But I dont believe the first man is a ^y; 
coward. I believe he is a hero ! 

MAN [goodhumoredly] Thats what youd have said if youd 
seen the first man in the charge to-day. 

RAINA [breathless, forgiving him everything] Ah, I knew 
it ! Tell me tell me about him. 

MAN. He did it like an operatic tenor a regular 
handsome fellow, with flashing eyes and lovely moustache, 
shouting his war-cry and charging like Don Quixote at the 
windmills. We nearly burst with laughter at him ; but 
when the sergeant ran up as white as a sheet, and told us \ 
theyd sent us the wrong cartridges, and that we couldnt 
fire a shot for the next ten minutes, we laughed at the 
other side of our mouths. I never felt so sick in my life ; 
though Ive been in one or two very tight places. And I 



1 6 Arms and the Man Act I 

hadnt even a revolver cartridge nothing but chocolate. 
We'd no bayonets nothing. Of course, they just cut us 
to bits. And there was Don Quixote flourishing like a 
drum major, thinking he'd done the cleverest thing ever 
known, whereas he ought to be courtmartialled for it. 
Of all the fools ever let loose on a field of battle, that 
man must be the very maddest. He and his regiment 
simply committed suicide only the pistol missed fire : 
thats all. 

RAINA [deeply wounded, but steadfastly loyal to her ideals] 
Indeed ! Would you know him again if you saw him ? 

MAN. Shall I ever forget him ! [She again goes to the 
chest of drawers. He watches her with a vague hope that she 
may have something more for him to eat. She takes the portrait 
from its stand and brings it to him]. 

RAINA. That is a photograph of the gentleman the 
patriot and hero to whom I am betrothed. 

MAN [recognising it with a shock] I'm really very sorry, 
[Looking at her] Was it fair to lead me on ? [He looks at 
the portrait again] Yes : thats him : not a doubt of it. [He 
stifles a laugh], 

RAINA [quickly"] Why do you laugh ? 

MAN [shamefacedly, but still greatly tickled} I didnt laugh, 
I assure you. At least I didnt mean to. But when I 
think of him charging the windmills and thinking he was 
doing the finest thing [He chokes with suppressed laughter]. 

RAINA [sternly] Give me back the portrait, sir. 

MAN [with sincere remorse] Of course. Certainly. I'm 
really very sorry. [She deliberately kisses it and looks him 
straight in the face before returning to the chest of drawers 
to replace it. He follows her, apologizing]. Perhaps I'm 
quite wrong, you know : no doubt I am. Most likely he 
had got wind of the cartridge business somehow, and knew 
it was a safe job. 

RAINA. That is to say, he was a pretender and a coward ! 
You did not dare say that before. 

MAN [with a comic gesture of despair] It's no use, dear 



Act I Arms and the Man 17 

/ 

lady : I cant make you see it from the professional point of 
view. \_As he turns away to get back to the ottoman, the firing 
begins again in the distance], 

RAINA [sternly, as she sees him listening to the shots] So 
much the better for you ! 

MAN [turning] How ? 

RAINA. You are my enemy ; and you are at my mercy. 
What would I do if I were a professional soldier ? 

MAN. Ah, true, dear young lady : youre always right. 
I know how good youve been to me : to my last hour I 
shall remember those three chocolate creams. It was un- _ 
soldierly ; but it was angelic. 

RAINA [coldly] Thank you. And now I will do a 
soldierly thing. You cannot stay here after what you 
have just said about my future husband ; but I will go out 
on the balcony and see whether it is safe for you to climb 
down into the street. [She turns to the window]. 

MAN [changing countenance] Down that waterpipe ! Stop ! 
Wait ! I cant ! I darent ! The very thought of it makes 
me giddy. I came up it fast enough with death behind 
me. But to face it now in cold blood ! [He sinks on 
the ottoman]. It's no use : I give up : I'm beaten. Give 
the alarm. [He drops his head on his hands in the deepest 
dejection] 

RAINA [disarmed by pity] Come : dont be disheartened. 
[She stoops over him almost maternally : he shakes his head]. Oh, 
you are a very poor soldier a cho^oiate_.Cieam soldier ! 
Come, cheer up : it takes less courage to climb dowK than 
to face capture : remember that. 

MAN [dreamily, lulled by her voice] No : capture only 
means death ; and death is sleep oh, sleep, sleep, sleep, 
undisturbed sleep ! Climbing down the pipe means doing 
something exerting myself thinking! Death ten 
times over first. 

RAINA [softly and wonderingly, catching the rhythm of his 
weariness] Are you so sleepy as that ? 

MAN. Ive not had two hours undisturbed sleep since I 

VOL. II C 



1 8 Arms and the Man Act I 

joined. I'm on the staff : you dont know what that means. 
I havnt closed my eyes for forty-eight hours. 

RAINA [at her wits end~\ But what am I to do with you ? 

MAN [staggering up, roused by her desperation} Of course 
I must do something. [He shakes himself; pulls himself 
together; and speakt with rallied vigor and courage]. You 
see, sleep or no sleep, hunger or no hunger, tired or not 
tired, you can always do a thing when you know it must 
be done. Well, that pipe must be got down : [he hits 
himself on the chest] do you hear that, you chocolate cream 
soldier ? [He turns to the window]. 

RAINA [anxiously] But if you fall ? 

MAN. I shall sleep as if the stones were a feather bed. 
Good-bye. [He makes boldly for the window ; and his hand is 
on the shutter when there is a terrible burst of firing in the 
street beneath], 

RAINA [rushing to him] Stop ! [She seizes him recklessly, 
and pulls him quite round], Theyll kill you. 

MAN [coolly, but attentively] Never mind : this sort of 
thing is all in my day's work. I'm bound to take my 
chance. [Decisively] Now do what I tell you. Put out 
the candles ; so that they shant see the light when I open 
the shutters. And keep away from the window, whatever 
you do. If they see me, theyre sure to have a shot at me. 

RAINA [clinging to him] Theyre sure to see you : it's 
bright moonlight. I'll save you oh, how can you be so 
indifferent ! You want me to save you, dont you ? 

MAN. I really dont want to be troublesome. [She 
shakes him in her impatience]. I am not indifferent, dear 
young lady, I assure you. But how is it to be done ? 

RAINA. Come away from the window please! [She 
coaxes him back to the middle of the room. He submits humbly. 
She releases him, and addresses him patronizingly]. Now 
listen. You must trust to our hospitality. You do not 
yet know in whose house you are. I am a Petkoff. 

MAN, Whats that ? 

RAINA [rather indignantly] I mean that I belong to the 



Act I Arms and the Man 1 9 

family of the Petkoffs, the richest and best known in our 
country. 

MAN. Oh yes, of course. I beg your pardon. The 
Petkoffs, to be sure. How stupid of me ! 

RAINA. You know you never heard of them until this 
minute. How can you stoop to pretend ! 

MAN. Forgive me : I'm too tired to think ; and the 
change of subject was too much for me. Dont scold me. 

RAINA. I forgot. It might make you cry. [He nods, 
quite seriously. She pouts and then resumes her patronizing 
tone~\. I must tell you that my father holds the highest 
command of any Bulgarian in our army. He is [proudly} a 
Major. 

MAN [pretending to be deeply impressed} A Major ! Bless 
me ! Think of that ! 

RAINA. You shewed great ignorance in thinking that it 
was necessary to climb up to the balcony because ours is 
the only private house that has two rows of windows. 
There is a flight of stairs inside to get up and down by. 

MAN. Stairs ! How grand ! You live in great luxury 
indeed, dear young lady. 

RAINA. Do you know what a library is ? 

MAN. A library ? A roomful of books ? 

RAINA. Yes. We have one, the only one in Bulgaria. 

MAN. Actually a real library ! I should like to see that. 

RAINA [affectedly} I tell you these things to shew you 
that you are not in the house of ignorant country folk who 
would kill you the moment they saw your Servian uni- 
form, but among civilized people. We go to Bucharest 
every year for the opera season ; and I have spent a whole 
month in Vienna. 

MAN. I saw that, dear young lady. I saw at once that 
you knew the world. ^ *> 

RAINA. Have you ever seen the opera of Ernani ? \ ' '' 

MAN. Is that the one with the devil in it in red velvet, 
and a soldiers' chorus ? 

RAINA [contemptuously} No ! 



2o Arms and the Man Act I 

MAN [stifling a heavy sigh of weariness} Then I dont 
know it. 

RAINA. I thought you might have remembered the great 
scene where Ernani, flying from his foes just as you are 
to-night, takes refuge in the castle of his bitterest enemy, 
an old Castilian noble. The noble refuses to give him up. 
His guest is sacred to him. 

MAN [quickly, waking up a little] Have your people got 
that notion ? 

RAINA [with dignity"] My mother and I can understand 
that notion, as you call it. And if instead of threatening 
me with your pistol as you did you had simply thrown 
yourself as a fugitive on our hospitality, you would have 
been as safe as in your father's house. 

MAN. Quite sure ? 

RAINA [turning her back on him in disgust] Oh, it is useless 
to try to make you understand. 

MAN. Dont be angry : you see how awkward it would 
be for me if there was any mistake. My father is a very 
hospitable man : he keeps six hotels ; but I couldnt trust 
him as far as that. What about your father? 

RAINA. He is away at Slivnitza fighting for his country. 
I answer for your safety. There is my hand in pledge of 
it. Will that reassure you ? [She offers him her hand], 

MAN [looking dubiously at his own hand] Better not touch 
my hand, dear young lady. I must have a wash first. 

RAINA [touched] That is very nice of you. I see that 
you are a gentleman. 

MAN [puzzled] Eh? 

RAINA. You must not think I am surprised. Bul- 
garians of really good standing people in our position 
wash their hands nearly every day. But I appreciate 
your delicacy. You may take my hand. [She offers it again]. 

MAN [kissing it with his hands behind his back] Thanks, 
gracious young lady : I feel safe at last. And now would 
you mind breaking the news to your mother ? I had better 
not stay here secretly longer than is necessary. 



Act I Arms and the Man 21 

RAINA. If you will be so good as to keep perfectly still 
whilst I am away. 

MAN. Certainly. [He sits down on the ottoman']. 

Raina goes to the bed and wraps herself in the fur cloak. 
His eyes close. She goes to the door. Turning for a last look 
at him, she sees that he is dropping of to sleep. 

RAINA [at the door] You are not going asleep, are you ? 
[He murmurs inarticulately : she runs to him and shakes him], 
Do you hear ? Wake up : you are falling asleep. 

MAN. Eh ? Falling aslee ? Oh no : not the least in 
the world : I was only thinking. It's all right : I'm wide 
awake. 

RAINA [severely"] Will you please stand up while I am 
away. [He rises reluctantly]. All the time, mind. 

MAN [standing unsteadily] Certainly certainly : you 
may depend on me. 

Raina looks doubtfully at him. He smiles weakly. She 
goes reluctantly, turning again at the door, and almost catching 
him in the act of yawning. She goes out. 

MAN [drowsily] Sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep, slee [The 
words trail off into a murmur. He wakes again with a shock 
on the point of falling]. Where am I ? Thats what I 
want to know : where am I ? Must keep awake. Nothing 
keeps me awake except danger remember that [in- 
tently] danger, danger, danger, dan [trailing off again : 
another shack] Wheres danger ? Mus' find it. [He starts off 
vaguely round the room in search of it]. What am I looking 
for ? Sleep danger dont know. [He stumbles against 
the bed]. Ah yes : now I know. All right now. I'm to go 
to bed, but not to sleep be sure not to sleep because of 
danger. Not to lie down either, only sit down. [He sits 
on the bed. A blissful expression comes into his face]. Ah ! 
[With a happy sigh he sinks back at full length ; lifts his boots 
into the bed with a final effort ; and falls fast asleep instantly], 

Catherine comes in, followed by Raina. 

RAINA [looking at the ottoman] He's gone ! I left him 
here. 



22 Arms and the Man Act I 

CATHERINE. Here ! Then he must have climbed down 
from the 

RAINA [seeing hini\ Oh ! [ She points], 

CATHERINE [scandalized] Well ! [She strides to the bed, 
Raina following and standing opposite her on the other side], 
He's fast asleep. The brute ! 

RAINA [anxiously] Sh ! 

CATHERINE [shaking him] Sir ! [Shaking him again, 
harder} Sir ! ! [Vehemently, shaking very hard] Sir ! ! ! 

RAINA [catching her arm] Dont, mamma : the poor dear 
is worn out. Let him sleep. 

CATHERINE [letting him go, and turning amazed to Raina] 
The poor dear ! Raina ! ! ! [She looks sternly at her 
daughter. The man sleeps profoundly]. 





ACT II 

The sixth of Match, 1886. In the garden of Major 
Petkoff's house, ft is a fine spring morning ; and the garden 
looks fresh and pretty. Beyond the paling the tops of a couple 
of minarets can be seen, shewing that there is a valley there, 
with the little town in it. A few miles further the Balkan 
mountains rise and shut in the landscape. Looking towards them 
from within the garden, the side of the house is seen on the left, 
with a garden door reached by a little fight of steps. On the 
right the stable yard, with its gateway, encroaches on the garden. 
There are fruit bushes along the paling and house, covered with 
washing spread out to dry. A path runs by the house, and rises 
by two steps at the corner, where it turns out of sight. In 
the middle, a small table, with two bent wood chairs at it, is laid 
for breakfast with Turkish coffee pot, cups, rolls, etc. ; but the 
cups have been used and the bread broken. There is a wooden 
garden seat against the wall on the right. 

Louka, smoking.^a_ cigaret, is standing between the table 
and the house, turning her back with angry disdain on a man- 
servant who is lecturing her. He is a middle-aged man of cool 
temperament and low but clear and keen intelligence, with the 
complacency of the servant who values himself on his rank in 
servitude, and the imperturbability of the accurate calculator who 
has no illusions. He wears a white Bulgarian costume: jacket 
with decorated border, sash, wide knickerbockers, and decorated 
gaiters. His head is shaved up to the crown, giving him a high 
Japanese forehead. His name is Nicola. 



24 Arms and the Man Act II 

NICOLA. Be warned in time, Louka: mend your manners. 
I know the mistress. She is so grand that she never 
dreams that any servant could dare to be disrespectful to 
her ; but if she once suspects that you are defying her, out 
you go. 

LOUKA. I do defy her. I will defy her. What do I 
care for her ? 

NICOLA. If you quarrel with the family, I never can 
marry you. It's the same as if you quarrelled with 
me ! 

LOUKA. You take her part against me, do you ? 

NICOLA [sedately} I shall always be dependent on the 
good will of the family. When I leave their service and 
start a shop in Sofeea, their custom will be half my capital : 
their bad word would ruin me. 

LOUKA. You have no spirit. I should like to see them 
dare say a word against me ! 

NICOLA [pityingly} I should have expected more sense 
from you, Louka. But youre young : youre young ! 

LOUKA. Yes ; and you like me the better for it, dont 
you ? But I know some family secrets they wouldnt care 
to have told, young as I am. Let them quarrel with me if 
they dare ! 

NICOLA [with compassionate superiority} Do you know what 
they-would do if they heard you talk like that ? 

LOUKA. What could they do ? 

NICOLA. Discharge you for untruthfulness. Who would 
believe any stories you told after that ? Who would give 
you another cituation ? Who in this house would dare be 
seen speaking to you ever again ? How long would your 
father be left on his little farm ? [She impatiently throws 
away the end of her cigaret, and stamps on it}. Child : you 
dont know the power such high people have over the like 
of you and me when we try to rise out of our poverty 
against them. [He goes close to her and lowers his voice"}. 
Look at me, ten years in their service. Do you think I 
know no secrets ? I know things about the mistress that 



Act II Arms and the Man 25 

she wouldnt have the master know for a thousand levas. 
I know things about him that she wouldnt let him hear the 
last of for six months if I blabbed them to her. I know 
things about Raina that would break off her match with 
Sergius if 

LOUKA [turning on kim quickly] How do you know ? I 
never told you ! 

NICOLA [opening his eyes cunningly] So thats your little 
secret, is it ? I thought it might be something like that. 
Well, you take my advice and be respectful ; and make 
the mistress feel that no matter what you know or dont 
know, she can depend on you to hold your tongue and 
serve the family faithfully. Thats what they like ; and 
thats how youll make most out of them. 

LOUKA [with searching scorn] You have the soul of a 
servant, Nicola. 

NICOLA [complacently] Yes : thats the secret of success 
in service. 

A loud knocking with a whip handle on a w 09 den door 
is heard from the stable yard. 

MALE VOICE OUTSIDE. Hollo ! Hollo there ! Nicola ! 

LOUKA. Master ! back from the war ! 

NICOLA [quickly] My word for it, Louka, the war's over. 
Off with you and get some fresh coffee. [He runs out into 
the stable yard], 

LOUKA [as she collects the cojfee pot and cups on the tray, and 
carries it into the house] Youll never put the soul of a 
servant into me. 

Major Petkojf comes from the stable yard, followed by 
Nicola. He is a cheerful, excitable, insignificant, unpolished 
man of about 50, naturally unambitious except as to his income 
and his importance in local society, but just now greatly pleased 
with the military rank which the war has thrust on him as a 
man of consequence in his town. The fever of plucky patriotism 
which the Servian attack roused in all the Bulgarians has 
pulled him through the war; but he is obviously glad to be home 
again. 



26 Arms and the Man Act II 

PETKOFF [pointing to the table with his whip] Breakfast 
out here, eh ? 

NICOLA. Yes, sir. The mistress and Miss Raina have 
just gone in. 

PETKOFF [sitting down and taking a roll~\ Go in and say 
Ive come ; and get me some fresh coffee. 

NICOLA. It's coming, sir. [He goes to the house door. 
Louka, with fresh coffee, a clean cup, and a brandy bottle on 
her tray, meets him]. Have you told the mistress ? 

LOUKA. Yes : she's coming. 

Nicola goes into the house. Louka brings the coffee to the table. 

PETKOFF. Well : the Servians havnt run away with you, 
have they ? 

LOUKA. No, sir. 

PETKOFF. Thats right. Have you brought me some cognac ? 

LOUKA [putting the bottle on the table] Here, sir. 

PETKOFF. Thats right. [He pours some into his coffee]. 

Catherine, who, having at this early hour made only a very 
perfunctory toilet, wears a Bulgarian apron over a once brilliant 
but now half worn-out red dressing gown, and a colored hand- 
kerchief tied over her thick black hair, comes from the house 
with Turkish, slippers on her bare feet, looking astonishingly 
handsome and stately under all the circumstances. Louka goes 
into the house. 

CATHERINE. My dear Paul : what a surprise for us ! [She 
stoops over the back of his chair to kiss him]. Have they 
brought you fresh coffee ? 

PETKOFF. Yes : Louka's been looking after me. The 
war's over. The treaty was signed three days ago at 
Bucharest ; and the decree for our army to demobilize was 
issued yesterday. 

CPcrm-.KivE[springingerect,witkJlashingeyes~\ The war over ! 
Paul : have you let the Austrians force you to make peace ? 

PETKOFF [submissively] My dear : they didnt consult me. 
What could / do? [She sits down and turns away from 
him]. But of course we saw to it that the treaty was an 
honorable one. It declares peace 



Act II Arms and the Man 27 



CATHERINE 

PETKOFF [appeasing her~\ but not friendly relations^. 
remember that. They wanted to put that in ; but I in- 
sisted OH its being struck out What more could I do ? 

CATHERINE. You could have annexed Servia and made 
Prince Alexander Emperor of the Balkans. Thats what 
I would have done. 

PETKOFF. I dont doubt it in the least, my dear. But I 
should have had to subdue the whole Austrian Empire 
first ; and that would have kept me too long away from 
you. I missed you greatly. 

CATHERINE [relenting] Ah! [She stretches her hand affec- 
tionately across the table to squeeze his\. 

PETKOFF. And how have you been, my dear ? 

CATHERINE. Oh, my usual sore throats : thats all. 

PETKOFF [with conviction] That .comes from washing 
your neck every day. I've often told you so. 

CATHERINE. Nonsense, Paul ! 

PETKOFF [over his coffee and cigaret~\ I dont believe in 
going too far with these modern customs. All this wash- 
ing cant be good for the health : it's not natural. There 
was an Englishman at Philippopolis who used to wet him- 
self all over with cold water every morning when he got 
up. Disgusting ! It all comes from the English : their 
climate makes them so dirty that they have to be per- 
petually washing themselves. Look at my father ! he 
never had a bath in his life ; and he lived to be ninety- 
eight, the healthiest man in Bulgaria. I dont mind a good 
wash once a week to keep up my position ; but once a day 
is carrying the thing to a ridiculous extreme. 

CATHERINE. You are a barbarian at heart still, Paul. I 
hope you behaved yourself ^Before all those Russian officers. 

PETKOFF. I did my best. I took care to let them know 
that we had a library. 

CATHERINE. Ah ; but you didnt tell them that we have 
an electric bell in it ? I have had one put up. 

PETKOFF. Whats an electric bell ? 




28 Arms and the Man Act II 

CATHERINE. You touch a button ; something tinkles in 
the kitchen ; and then Nicola comes up. 

PETKOKF. Why not shout for him ? 

CATHERINE. Civilized people never shout for their 
servants. Ive learnt that while you were away. 

PETKOFF. Well, I'll tell you something Ive learnt too. 
Civilized people dont hang out their washing to dry where 
visitors can see it ; so youd better have all that [indicating 
the clothes on the bushes] put somewhere else. 

CATHERINE. Oh, thats absurd, Paul : I dont believe 
really refined people notice such things. 

Someone is heard knocking at the stable gates. 

PETKOFF. Theres Sergius. [Shouting] Hollo, Nicola ! 

CATHERINE. Oh, dont shout, Paul : it really isnt nice. 

PETKOFF. Bosh ! [He shouts louder than before~\ Nicola ! 

NICOLA [appearing at the house door] Yes, sir. 

PETKOFF. If that is Major Saranoff, bring him round this 
way. [He pronounces the name with the stress on the second 
syllable Sarahnojf], 

NICOLA. Yes, sir. [He goes into the stable yard]. 

PETKOFF. You must talk to him, my dear, until Raina 
takes him off our hands. He bores my life out about our 
not promoting him over my head, if you please. 

CATHERINE. He certainly ought to be promoted when 
he marries Raina. Besides, the country should insist on 
having at least one native general. 

PETKOFF. Yes ; so that h could throw away whole 
brigades instead of regiments. It's no use, my dear : he 
hasnt the slightest chance of promotion until we're quite 
sure that the peace will be a lasting one. 

NICOLA [at the gate, announcing] Major Sergius Saranoff! 
[He goes into the house and returns presently with a third chair, 
which he places at the table. He then withdraws']. 

Major Sergius Saranoff, the original of the portrait in 
Raines room, is a tall, romantically handsome man, with the 
physical hardihood, the high spirit, and the susceptible imagina- 
tion of an untamed mountaineer chieftain. But his remark- 



Act II Arms and the Man 29 

able personal distinction is of a characteristically civilized type. 
The ridges of his eyebrows, curving with a ram's-horn twist 
round the marked projections at the outer corners ; his jealously 
observant eye ; his nose, thin, keen, and apprehensive in spite 
of the pugnacious high bridge and large nostril ; his assertive 
chin, would not be out of place in a Parisian salon, shewing that 
the clever, imaginative barbarian has an acute critical faculty 
which has been thrown into intense activity by the arrival of 
western civilisation in the Balkans. Ike result is precisely 
what the advent of f yitttietxt century thought Jirst produced in 
England : to witQyronisrn^) By his brooding on the perpetual 
failure, not only oj otKers, but of himself, to live up to his 
ideals ; by his consequent cynical scorn for humanity ; by his 
jejune credulity as to the absolute validity of his concepts and the 
unworthiness of the world in disregarding them ; by his wincings 
and mockeries under the sting of- the petty disillusions which 
every hour spent among men brings to his sensitive observation, 
he has acquired the half tragic, half ironic air, the mysterious 
moodiness, the suggestion of a strange and terrible history that 
has left nothing but undying remorse, by which Childe Harold 
fascinated the grandmothers of his English contemporaries. It 
is clear that here or nowhere is Raima's ideal hero. Catherine 
is hardly less enthusiastic about him than her daughter, and 
much less reserved in shewing her enthusiasm. As he enters 
from the stable gate, she rises effusively to greet him. Petkojf 
is distinctly less disposed to make a fuss about him. 

PETKOFF. Here already, Sergius ! Glad to see you. 

CATHERINE. My dear Sergius ! [She holds out both her 
hands~\. 

> SERGIUS [kissing them with scrupulous gallantry\ My dear 
mother, if I may call you so. 

PETKOFF \drily\ Mother-in-law, Sergius : mother-in- 
law ! Sit down ; and have some coffee. 

SERGIUS. Thank you, none for me. [He gets away from 
the table with a certain distaste for Petkojf' 's enjoyment of it, 
and posts himself with conscious dignity against the rail of the 
steps leading to the house\ 



30 Arms and the Man Act II 

CATHERINE. You look superb splendid. The cam- 
paign has improved you. Everybody here is mad about 
you. We were all wild with enthusiasm about that magni- 
ficent cavalry charge. 

SERGIUS [with grave irony] Madam : it was the cradle 
and the grave of my military reputation. 

CATHERINE. How SO ? 

SERGIUS. I won the battle the wrong way when our 
worthy Russian generals were losing it the right way. 
That upset their plans, and wounded their self-esteem. 
Two of their colonels got their regiments driven back on 
the correct principles of scientific warfare. Two major- 
generals got killed strictly according to military etiquette. 
Those two colonels are now major-generals ; and I am 
still a simple major. 

CATHERINE. You shall not remain so, Sergius. The 
women are on your side ; and they will see that justice is 
done you. 

SERGIUS. It is too late. I have only waited for the 
peace to send in my resignation. 

PETKOFF [dropping his cup in his amazement] Your re- 
signation ! 

CATHERINE. Oh, you must withdraw it ! 

SERGIUS [with resolute, measured emphasis, folding his arms] 
I never withdraw. 

PETKOFF [vexed] Now who could have supposed you 
were going to do such a thing ? 

SERGIUS [with fire] Everyone that knew me. But 
enough of myself and my affairs. How is Raina ; and 
where is Raina ? 

RAINA [suddenly coming round the earner of the house and 
standing at the top of the steps in the path] Raina is here. 
[She makes a charming picture as they all turn to look at her. 
She wears an underdress of pale green silk, draped with an 
overdress of thin ecru canvas embroidered with gold. On 
her head she wears a pretty Phrygian cap of gold tinsel. 
Sergius, with an exclamation of pleasure, goes impulsively tt 



Act II Arms and the Man 3 1 

meet her. She stretches out her band : he drops chivalrously 
on one knee and kisses it], 

PETKOFF [aside to Catherine, beaming with parental pride~\ 
Pretty, isnt it ? She always appears at the right moment. 

CATHERINE [impatiently'] Yes : she listens for it. It is an 
abominable habit. 

Sergius leads Rain a forward with splendid gallantry, as 
if she were a queen. When they arrive at the table, she turns 
to him with a bend of the head: he bows; and thus they 
separate, he coming to his place, and she going behind her father's 
chair. 

RAINA [stooping and kissing her father] Dear father ! 
Welcome home ! 

PETKOFF [patting her cheek] My little pet girl. [He 
kisses her. She goes to the chair left by Nicola for Sergius, and 
sits down]. 

CATHERINE. And so youre no longer a soldier, Sergius. 

SERGIUS. I am no longer a soldier. Soldiering, my dear 
madam, is the coward's art of attacking mercilessly when 
you are strong, and keeping out of harm's way when you 
are weak. That is the whole secret of successful fighting. 
Get your enemy at a disadvantage ; and never, on any 
account, fight him on equal terms. Eh, Major ! 

PETKOFF. They wouldnt let us make a fair stand-up 
fight of it. However, I suppose soldiering has to be a 
trade like any other trade. 

SEiiGius. Precisely. But I have no ambition to shine 
as a tradesman ; so I have taken the advice of that bagman 
of a captain that settled the exchange of prisoners with us 
at Peerot, and given it up. 

PETKOFF. What ! that Swiss fellow ? Sergius : Ive often 
thought of that exchange since. He over-reached us about 
those horses. 

SERGIUS. Of course he over-reached us. His father was a 
hotel and livery stable keeper ; and he owed his first step to 
his knowledge of horse-dealing. [With mock enthusiasm] 
Ah, he was a soldier every inch a soldier ! If only I 



32 Arms and the Man Act II 

had bought the horses for my regiment instead of foolishly 
leading it into danger, I should have been a field-marshal 



now ! 



CATHERINE. A Swiss ? What was he doing in the 
Servian army ? 

PETKOFF. A volunteer, of course keen on picking up 
his profession. [Chuckling] We shouldnt have been able 
to begin fighting if these foreigners hadnt shewn us 
how to do it : we knew nothing about it ; and neither 
did the Servians. Egad, there'd have been no war with- 
out them ! 

RAINA. Are there many Swiss officers in the Servian 
Army ? 

PETKOFF. No all Austrians, just as our officers were all 
Russians. This was the only Swiss I came across. I'll 
never trust a Swiss again. He cheated us humbugged 
us into giving him fifty able bodied men for two hundred 
confounded worn out chargers. They werent even eat- 
able ! 

TERGIUS. We were two children in the hands of that 
consummate soldier, Major : simply two innocent little 
children. 

RAINA. What was he like ? 

CATHERINE. Oh, Raina, what a silly question ! 

SERGIUS. He was like a commercial traveller in uniform. 
Bourgeois to his boots ! 

PETKOFF [grinning] Sergius : tell Catherine that queer 
story his friend told us about him how he escaped after 
SlivnTtza. You remember ? about his being hid by 
two women. 

SERGIUS [with bitter irony] Oh yes : quite a romance ! He 
was serving in the very battery I so unprofessionally 
charged. Being a thorough soldier, he ran away like the 
rest of them, with our cavalry at his heels. To escape 
their attentions, he had the good taste to take refuge in 
the chamber of some patriotic young Bulgarian lady. The 
young lady was enchanted by his persuasive commercial 



Act II Arms and the Man 33 

traveller's manners. She very modestly entertained him 
for an hour or so, and then called in her mother lest her 
conduct should appear unmaidenly. The old lady was 
equally fascinated ; and the fugitive was sent on his way 
in the morning, disguised in an old coat belonging to the 
master of the house, who was away at the war. 

RAINA [rising -with marked stateliness] Your life in the 
camp has made you coarse, Sergius. I did not think you 
would have repeated such a story before me. [She turns 
away coldly], 

CATHERINE [also rising] She is right, Sergius. If such 
women exist, we should be spared the knowledge of 
them. 

PETKOFF. Pooh ! nonsense ! what does it matter ? 

SERGIUS [a shamed] No, PetkofF : I was wrong. [ To 
Raina, with earnest humility] I beg your pardon. I have 
behaved abominably. Forgive me, Raina. [She bows re- 
servedly]. And you too, madam. [Catherine bows graciously 
and sits down. He proceeds solemnly, again addressing Raina] 
The glimpses I have had of the seamy side of life during the 
last few months have made me cynical ; but I should not 
have brought my cynicism here least of all into your 
presence, Raina. I [Here, turning to the others, he is 
evidently going to begin a long speech when the Major interrupts 
him]. 

PETKOFF. Stuff and nonsense, Sergius ! Thats quite 
enough fuss about nothing : a soldier's daughter should be 
able to stand up without flinching to a little strong con- 
versation. [He rises]. Come : it's time for us to get to 
business. We have to make up our minds how those 
three regiments are to get back to Philippopolis : theres 
no forage for them on the Sofeea route. [He goes towards 
the house]. Come along. [Sergius is about to follow him when 
Catherine rises and intervenes], 

CATHERINE. Oh, Paul, cant you spare Sergius for a few 
moments ? Raina has hardly seen him yet. Perhaps I 
can help you to settle about the regiments. 

VOL. II D 



34 Arms and the Man Actii 

SERGIUS [protesting] My dear madam, impossible : you 

CATHERINE [stopping him playfully} You stay here, my 
dear Sergius : theres no hurry. I have a word or two 
to say to Paul. [Sergius instantly bows and steps back}. 
Now, dear [taking Petkoff's arm} : come and see the electric 
bell. 

PETKOFF. Oh, very well, very well. [They go into the 
house together affectionately. Sergius, left alone with Raina, 
looks anxiously at her, fearing that she is still offended. She 
smiles, and stretches out her arms to him}. 

SERGIUS [hastening to her} Am I forgiven ? 

RAINA [placing her hands on his shoulders as she looks up at 
him with admiration and worship} My hero ! My king ! 

SERGIUS. My queen ! [He kisses her on the forehead}. 

RAINA. How I have envied you, Sergius ! You have 
been out in the world, on the field of battle, able to prove 
yourself there worthy of any woman in the world ; whilst 
I have had to sit at home inactive dreaming useless 
doing nothing that could give me the right to call my- 
self worthy of any man. 

SERGIUS. Dearest : all my deeds have been yours. You 
inspired me. I have gone through the war like a knight 
in a tournament with his lady looking down at him ! 

RAINA. And you have never been absent from my 
thoughts for a moment. [Fery solemnly} Sergius : I think 
we two have found the higher love. When I think of 
you, I feel that I could never do a base deed, or think an 
ignoble thought. 

SERGIUS. My lady, and my saint ! [He clasps her 
reverently}. 

RAINA [returning his embrace} My lord and my 

SERGIUS. Sh sh ! Let me be the worshipper, dear. 
You little know how unworthy even the best man is of a 
girl's pure passion ! 

RAINA. I trust you. I love you. You will never dis- 
appoint me, Sergius. [Louka is heard singing within the 
house. They quickly release each other}. I cant pretend to 



Act II Arms and the Man 35 

talk indifferently before her : my heart is too full. [Louka 
comes^from the house -with her tray. She goes to the table, 
and begins to clear it, with her back turned to them}. I will 
get my hat ; and then we can go out until lunch time. 
Wouldnt you like that ? 

SERGIUS. Be quick. If you are away five minutes, it 
will seem five hours. [Raina runs to the top of the steps, and 
turns there to exchange looks with him and wave him a kiss 
with both hands. He looks after her with emotion for a moment ; 
then turns slowly away, his face radiant with the loJjjgsJ..ex- 
altation. The movement shifts his Jield of vision, into the 
corner of which there now comes the tail of Louka s double 
apron. His attention is arrested at once. He takes a stealthy 
look at her, and begins to twirl his moustache mischievously, with 
his left hand akimbo on his hip. Finally, striking the ground 
with his heels in something of a cavalry swagger, he strolls over 
to the other side of the table, opposite her, and says'] Louka : do 
you know what the higher love is ? 

LOUKA [astonished} No, sir. 

SERGIUS. Very fatiguing thing to keep up for any 
length of time, Louka. One feels the need of some relief 
after it. 

LOUKA [innocently} Perhaps you would like some coffee, 
sir ? [She stretches her hand across the table for the coffee 
pot}. 

SERGIUS [taking her hand~\ Thank you, Louka. 

LOUKA [pretending to pull} Oh, sir, you know I didnt 
mean that. I'm surprised at you ! 

SERGIUS [coming clear of the table and drawing her with 
him] I am surprised at myself, Louka. What would 
Sergius, the hero of Slivnitza, say if he saw me now ? 
What would Sergius, the apostle of the higher love, say if 
he saw me now ? What would the half dozen Sergiuses 
who keep popping in and out of this handsome figure of 
mine say if they caught us here ? [Letting go her hand and 
slipping his arm dexterously round her waist} Do you con- 
sider my figure handsome, Louka ? 



36 Arms and the Man Act II 

LOUKA. Let me go, sir. I shall be disgraced. [She 
struggles : he holds her inexorably}. Oh, will you let go ? 

SERGIUS [looking straight into her eyes] No. 

LOUKA. Then stand back where we cant be seen. Have 
you no common sense ? 

SERGIUS. Ah, thats reasonable. [He takes her into the 
stableyard gateway, where they are hidden from the house], 

LOUKA {plaintively} I may have been seen from the 
windows : Miss Raina is sure to be spying about after you. 

SERGIUS [stung letting her go] Take care, Louka. I 
may be worthless enough to betray the higher love ; but 
do not you insult it. 

LOUKA [demurely] Not for the world, sir, I'm sure. May 
I go on with my work, please, now ? 

SERGIUS [again putting his arm round her] You are a pro- 
voking little witch, Louka. If you were in love with me, 
would you spy out of windows on me ? 

LOUKA. Well, you see, sir, since you say you are half a 
dozen different gentlemen all at once, I should have a 
great deal to look after. 

SERGIUS [charmed] Witty as well as pretty. [He tries to 
kiss her]. 

LOUKA [avoiding him] No : I dont want your kisses. 
Gentlefolk are all alike : you making love to me behind 
Miss Raina's back ; and she doing the same behind yours. 

SERGIUS [recoiling a step] Louka ! 

LOUKA. It shews how little you really care. 

SERGIUS [dropping his familiarity, and speaking with freez- 
ing politeness] If our conversation is to continue, Louka, 
you will please remember that a gentleman does not 
discuss the conduct of the lady he is engaged to with her 
maid. 

LOUKA. It's so hard to know what a gentleman considers 
right. I thought from your trying to kiss me that you had 
given up being so particular. 

SERGIUS [turning from her and striking his forehead as he 
comes back into the garden from the gateway] Devil ! devil ! 



Act II Arms and the Man 37 

LOUKA. Ha ! ha ! I expect one of the six of you is 
very like me, sir; though I am only Miss Raina's maid. 
[She goes back to her work at the table, taking no further 
notice of him]. 

SERGIUS [speaking to himself~\ Which of the six is the 
real man ? thats the question that torments me. One 
of them is a hero, another a buffoon, another a humbug, 
another perhaps a bit of a blackguard. [He pauses, and 
looks furtively at Louka as he adds, with deep bitterness} And 
one, at least, is a coward jealous, like all cowards. [He 
goes to the table}. Louka. 

LOUKA. Yes ? 

SERGIUS. Who is my rival ? 

LOUKA. You shall never get that out of me, for love or 
money. 

SERGIUS. Why ? 

LOUKA. Never mind why. Besides, you would tell 
that I told you ; and I should lose my place. 

SERGIUS [holding out his right hand in affirmation} No ; on 
the honor of a [He checks himself; and his hand drops, 
nerveless, as he concludes sardonically} of a man capable 
of behaving as I have been behaving for the last five 
minutes. Who is he ? 

LOUKA. I dont know. I never saw him. I only heard 
his voice through the door of her room. 

SERGIUS. Damnation ! How dare you ? 

LOUKA [retreating] Oh, I mean no harm : youve no 
right to take up my words like that. The mistress knows 
all about it. And I tell you that if that gentleman ever 
comes here again, Miss Raina will marry him, whether he 
likes it or not. I know the difference between the sort of 
manner you and she put on before one another and the real 
manner. [Sergius stivers as if she had stabbed him. Then, 
setting his face like iron, he strides grimly to her, and grips her 
above the elbows with both hands}. 

SERGIUS. Now listen you to me. 

LOUKA [wincing] Not so tight : youre hurting me. 



38 Arms and the Man Act II 

SERGIUS. That doesnt matter. You have stained my 
honor by making me a party to your eavesdropping. And 
you have betrayed your mistress. 

LOUKA [writhing] Please 

SERGIUS. That shews that you are an abominable little 
clod of common clay, with the soul of a servant. [He lets 
her go as if she were an unclean thing, and turns away, dusting 
his hands of her, to the bench by the wall, where he sits down 
with averted head, meditating gloomily], 

LOUKA [whimpering angrily with her hands up her sleeves, 
feeling her bruised arms] You know how to hurt with your 
tongue as well as with your hands. But I dont care, 
now Ive found out that whatever clay I'm made of, 
youre made of the same. As for her, she's a liar ; and 
her fine airs are a cheat ; and I'm worth six of her. 
[She shakes the pain off hardily ; tosses her head; and sets 
to work to put the things on the tray. He looks doubtfully at 
her once or twice. She finishes packing the tray, and laps the 
cloth over the edges, so as to carry all out together. As she 
stoops to lift it, he rises]. 

SERGIUS. Louka ! [She stops and looks defiantly at him], A 
gentleman has no right to hurt a woman under any circum- 
stances. [With profound humility, uncovering his head~\ I beg 
your pardon. 

LOUKA. That sort of apology may satisfy a lady. Of 
what use is it to a servant ? 

SERGIUS [rudely crossed in his chivalry, throws it off with 
a bitter laugh, and says slightingly] Oh ! you wish to be paid 
for the hurt ? [He puts on his shako, and takes some money 
from his pocket], 

LOUKA [her eyes filling with tears in spite of herself] No : I 
want my hurt made well. 

SERGIUS [sobered by her tone] How ? 

She rolls up her left sleeve ; clasps her arm with tht 
thumb and fingers of her right hand ; and looks down at the 
bruise. Then she raises her head and looks straight at him. 
Finally, with a superb gesture, she presents her arm to be kissed. 



Act II Arms and the Man 39 

Amazed, ke looks at her; at the arm; at her again; hesitates; 
and then, with shuddering intensity, exclaims Never ! and 
gets away as far as possible from her. 

Her arm drops. Without a word, and with unaffected 
dignity, she takes her tray, and is approaching the house when 
Rain a returns, wearing a hat and jacket in the height of the 
Vienna fashion of the previous year, 1885. Louka makes 
way proudly for her, and then goes into the house. 

RAINA. I'm ready. Whats the matter ? \Gaily] Have 
you been flirting with Louka ? 

SERGIUS [hastily] No, no. How can you think such a 
thing ? 

RAINA [ashamed of herself] Forgive me, dear : it was 
only a jest. I am so happy to-day. 

He goes quickly to her, and kisses her hand remorsefully. 
Catherine comes out and calls to them from the top of the 
steps. 

CATHERINE \coming down to them] I am sorry to dis- 
turb you, children ; but Paul is distracted over those 
three regiments. He doesnt know how to send them to 
Philippopolis ; and he objects to every suggestion of 
mine. You must go and help him, Sergius. He is in 
the library. 

RAINA [disappointed] But we are just going out for a 
walk. 

SERGIUS. I shall not be long. Wait for me just five 
minutes. [He runs up the steps to the door], 

RAINA [following him to the foot of the steps and looking up 
at him with timid coquetry] I shall go round and wait in full 
view of the library windows. Be sure you draw father's 
attention to me. If you are a moment longer than five 
minutes, I shall go in and fetch you, regiments or no regi- 
ments. 

SERGIUS [laughing] Very well. [He goes in. Raina watches 
him until he is out of her sight. Then, with a perceptible 
relax atian.Jl.fL.manner, she begins to pace up and down the garden 
in a brown study]. 



40 Arms and the Man Act II 

CATHERINE. Imagine their meeting that Swiss and hear- 
ing the whole story ! The very first thing your father 
asked for was the old coat we sent him off in. A nice 
mess you have got us into ! 

RAINA [gazing thoughtfully at the gravel as she walks'] The 
little beast ! 

CATHERINE. Little beast ! What little beast ? 

RAINA. To go and tell ! Oh, if I had him here, I'd 
cram him with chocolate creams till he couldnt ever speak 
again ! 

CATHERINE. Dont talk such stuff. Tell me the truth, 
Raina. How long was he in your room before you came 
to me ? 

RAINA [whisking round and recommencing her march in the 
opposite direction] Oh, I forget. 

CATHERINE. You cannot forget ! Did he really climb 
up after the soldiers were gone ; or was he there when that 
officer searched the room ? 

RAINA. No. Yes : I think he must have been there then. 

CATHERINE. You think ! Oh, Raina, Raina ! Will 
anything ever make you straightforward ? If Sergius finds 
out, it is all over between you. 

RAINA [with cool impertinence] Oh, I know Sergius is 
your pet. I sometimes wish you could marry him instead 
of me. You would just suit him. You would pet him, 
and spoil him, and mother him to perfection. 

CATHERINE [opening her eyes very widely indeed] Well, 
upon my word ! 

RAINA [capriciously half to herself] I always feel a 
longing to do or say something dreadful to him to shock 
: his propriety to scandalize the five senses out of him. 
[To Catherine, perversely] I dont care whether he finds out 
about the chocolate cream soldier or not. I half hope he 
may. [ She again turns and strolls flippantly away up the path 
to the corner of the house], 

CATHERINE. And what should I be able to say to your 
father, pray ? 



Act II Arms and the Man 41 

RAINA [over her shoulder, from the top of the two steps] Oh, 
poor father ! As if he could help himself ! [She turns the 
corner and passes out of sigh f\, 

CATHERINE [looking after her, her fingers itching] Oh, if 
you were only ten years younger ! [Louka comes from the 
house with a salver, which she carries hanging down by her side], 
Well ? 

LOUKA. Theres a gentleman just called, madam a 
Servian officer 

CATHERINE [flaming] A Servian ! And how dare he 
[checking herself bitterly] Oh, I forgot. We are at peace 
now. I suppose we shall have them calling every day to 
pay their compliments. Well : if he is an officer why dont 
you tell your master ? He is in the library with Major 
Saranoff. Why do you come to me ? 

LOUKA. But he asks for you, madam. And I dont 
think he knows who you are : he said the lady of the 
house. He gave me this little ticket for you. [She takes 
a card out of her bosom; puts it on the salver; and offers it to 
Catherine]. 

CATHERINE [reading] " Captain Bluntschli " ! Thats a 
German name. 

LOUKA. Swiss, madam, I think. 

CATHERINE [with a bound that makes Louka jump hack} 
Swiss ! What is he like ? 

LOUKA [timidly] He has a big carpet bag, madam. 

CATHERINE. Oh Heavens : he's come to return the coat ! 
Send him away say we're not at home ask him to 
leave his address and I'll write to him Oh stop : that 
will never do. Wait ! [She throws herself into a chair to 
think it out. Louka waits]. The master and Major Saranoff 
are busy in the library, arnt they ? 

LOUKA. Yes, madam. 

CATHERINE [decisively] Bring the gentleman out here at 
once. [Imperatively] And be very polite to him. Dont 
delay. Here [impatiently snatching the salver from her]; 
leave that here ; and go straight back to him. 



42 Arms and the Man Act I] 

LOUKA. Yes, madam. [Going], 

CATHERINE. Louka ! 

LOUKA [stopping] Yes, madam. 

CATHERINE. Is the library door shut ? 

LOUKA. I think so, madam. 

CATHERINE. If not, shut it as you pass through. 

LOUKA. Yes, madam. [Going']. 

CATHERINE. Stop ! [Louka stops']. He will have to go 
that way [indicating the gate of the stable yard]. Tell Nicola 
to bring his bag here after him. Dont forget. 

LOUKA [surprised] His bag ? 

CATHERINE. Yes : here, as soon as possible. [Vehemently] 
Be quick ! [Louka runs into the house. Catherine snatches 
her apron off and throws it behind a bush. She then takes up 
the salver and uses it as a mirror, with the result that the 
handkerchief tied round her head follows the apron. A touch 
to her hair and a shake to her dressing gown make her present- 
able']. Oh, how how how can a man be such a 
fool ! Such a moment to select ! [Louka appears at the 
door of the house, announcing Captain Bluntschli. She 
stands aside at the top of the steps to let him pass before she 
goes in again. He is the man of the midnight adventure in 
Raina's room, clean, well brushed, smartly uniformed, and out 
of trouble, but still unmistake ably the same man. The moment 
Louka's back is turned, Catherine swoops on him with impetuous y 
urgent, coaxing appeal]. Captain Bluntschli : I am very 
glad to see you ; but you must leave this house at once. 
[He raises his eyebrows']. My husband has just returned, with 
my future son-in-law ; and they know nothing. If they 
did, the consequences would be terrible. You are a 
foreigner : you do not feel our national animosities as we 
do. We still hate the Servians : the only effect of the 
peace on my husband is to make him feel like a lion 
baulked of his prey. If he discovered our secret, he 
would never forgive me ; and my daughter's life would 
hardly be safe. Will you, like the chivalrous gentleman 
and soldier you are, leave at once before Tie finds you here ? 



Act II Arms and the Man 43 

BLUNTSCHLI [disappointed, but philosophical] At once, 
gracious lady. I only came to thank you and return the 
coat you lent me. If you will allow me to take it out of 
my bag and leave it with your servant as I pass out, I need 
detain you no further. [He turns to go into the house]. 

CATHERINE [catching him by the sleeve] Oh, you must not 
think of going back that way. [Coaxing him across to the 
stable gates] This is the shortest way out. Many thanks. 
So glad to have been of service to you. Good-bye. 

BLUNTSCHLI. But my bag ? 

CATHERINE. It shall be sent on. You will leave me 
your address. 

BLUNTSCHLI. True. Allow me. [He takes out his card- 
case, and stops to write his address, keeping Catherine in an 
agony of impatience. As he hands her the card, Petkojf, hat less, 
rushes from the house in a Jluster of hospitality, followed by 
Sergius]. 

PETKOFF [as he hurries down the steps] My dear Captain 
Bluntschli 

CATHERINE. Oh Heavens ! [She sinks on the seat against 
the wall]. 

PETKOFF [too preoccupied to notice her as he shakes Bluntschlfs 
hand heartily] Those stupid people of mine thought I was 
out here, instead of in the haw ! library [He cannot 
mention the library without betraying how proud he is of it]. 
I saw you through the window. I was wondering why 
you didnt come in. Saranoff is with me : you remember 
him, dont you ? 

SERGIUS [saluting humorously, and then offering his land 
with great charm of manner] Welcome, our friend the 
enemy ! 

PETKOFF. No longer the enemy, happily. [Rather 
anxiously] I hope youve called as a friend, and not about 
horses or prisoners eh ? 

CATHERINE. Oh, quite as a friend, Paul. I was just 
asking Captain Bluntschli to stay to lunch ; but he de- 
clares he must go at once. 



44 Arms and the Man Act II 

SERGIUS [sardonically'] Impossible, Bluntschli. We want 
you here badly. We have to send on three cavalry regiments 
to Philippopolis ; and we dont in the least know how to 
do it. 

BLUNTSCHLI [suddenly attentive and businesslike} Philip- 
popolis ? The forage is the trouble, I suppose. 

PETKOFF [eagerly] Yes : thats it. [To Sergius] He sees 
the whole thing at once. 

BLUNTSCHLI. I think I can shew you how to manage that. 

SERGIUS. Invaluable man ! Come along ! [Towering 
over Bluntschli, he puts his hand on his shoulder and takes him 
to the steps, Petkoff following. As Bluntschli puts his foot on 
the first step, Raina comes out of the house]. 

RAINA [completely losing her presence of mind] Oh ! The 
chocolate cream soldier !- 

Bluntschli stands rigid. Sergius, amazed, looks at Raina, 
then at Petkoff, who looks back at him and then at his wife. 

CATHERINE [with commanding presence of mind] My dear 
Raina, dont you see that we have a guest here ? Captain 
Bluntschli, one of our new Servian friends. 

Raina bows : Bluntschli bows. 

RAINA. How silly of me ! [She comes down into the 
centre of the group, between Bluntschli and Petkoff], I made 
a beautiful ornament this morning for the ice pudding ; 
and that stupid Nicola has just put down a pile of plates 
on it and spoiled it. [To Bluntschli, winningly] I hope 
you didnt think that you were the chocolate cream 
soldier, Captain Bluntschli. 

BLUNTSCHLI [laughing] I assure you I did,, [Stealing a 
whimsical glance at her] Your explanation was a relief. 

PETKOFF [suspiciously, to Raina] And since when, pray, 
have you taken to cooking ? 

CATHERINE. Oh, whilst you were away. It is her latest 
fancy. 

PETKOFF [testily] And has Nicola taken to drinking ? He 
used to be careful enough. First he shews Captain Bluntschli 
out here when he knew quite well I was in the hum ! 






Act II Arms and the Man 45 

library ; and then he goes downstairs and breaks Raina's 
chocolate soldier. He must [Nicola appears at the top 
of the steps with a carpet bag. He descends ; places it respect- 
fully before Bluntschli ; andzvaits for further orders. General 
amazement. Nicola, unconscious of the effect he is producing, 
looks perfectly satisfied with himself. When Petkojf recovers 
his power of speech, he breaks out at him with] Are you mad, 
Nicola ? 

NICOLA [taken aback] Sir ? 

PETKOFF. What have you brought that for ? 

NICOLA. My lady's orders, sir. Louka told me that 

CATHERINE [interrupting him] My orders ! Why 
should I order you to bring Captain Bluntschli's luggage 
out here ? What are you thinking of, Nicola ? 

NICOLA [after a moment's bewilderment, picking up the bag 
as he addresses Bluntschli with the very perfection of servile 
discretion] I beg your pardon, sir, I am sure. [ To Cather- 
ine] My fault, madam : I hope youll overlook it. [He 
bows, and is going to the steps with the bag, when Petkojf 
addresses him angrily], 

PETKOFF. Youd better go and slam that bag, too, down 
on Miss Raina's ice pudding ! [This is too much for 
Nicola. The bag drops from his hand]. Begone, you butter- 
fingered donkey. 

NICOLA [snatching up the bag, and escaping into the house] 
Yes, sir. 

CATHERINE. Oh, never mind, Paul : dont be angry. 

PETKOFF [muttering] Scoundrel ! He's got out of hand 
while I was away. I'll teach him. [Recollecting his guest] 
Oh well, never mind. Come, Bluntschli : let's have no 
more nonsense about having to go away. You know 
very well youre not going back to Switzerland yet. Until 
you do go back youll stay with us. 

RAINA. Oh, do, Captain Bluntschli. 

PETKOFF [to Catherine] Now, Catherine : it's of you that 
he's afraid. Press him ; and he'll stay. 

CATHERINE. Of course I shall be only too delighted if 



46 Arms and the Man Act II 

[appeatingly] Captain Bluntschli really wishes to stay. He 
knows my wishes. 

BLUNTSCHLI [in his driest military manner] I am at 
madam's orders. 

SERGIUS [cordially] That settles it ! 

PETKOFF [heartily] Of course ! 

RAINA. You see you must stay. 

BLUNTSCHLI [smiling] Well, if I must, I must. 

Gesture of despair from Catherine. 



ACT III 

In the library after lunch. It is not much of a library. 
Its literary equipment consists of a single fixed shelf stocked 
with old paper covered novels, broken backed, coffee stained, 
torn and thumbed ; and a couple of little hanging shelves with 
a few gift books on them : the rest of the wall space being 
occupied by trophies of war and the chase. But it is a most 
comfortable sitting room. A row of three large windows 
shews a mountain panorama, just now seen in one of its friend- 
liest aspects in the mellowing afternoon light. In the corner 
next the right hand window a square earthenware stove, a 
perfect tower of colored pottery, rises nearly to the ceiling and 
guarantees plenty of warmth. The ottoman in the middle is & 
circular bank of decorated cushions ; and the window seats are 
well upholstered divans. Little Turkish tables, one of them 
with an elaborate hookah on it, and a screen to match them, 
complete the handsome effect of the furnishing. There is one 
object, however, hopelessly out of keeping with its surround- 
ings. This is a small kitchen table, much the worse for wear, 
fitted as a writing table with an old canister full of pens, an 
eggcup filed with ink, and a deplorable scrap of heavily used 
pink blotting paper. 

At the side of this table, which stands opposite the left" hand 
window, Bluntschli is hard at work with a couple of maps before 
him, writing orders. At the head of it sits Sergius, who is also 
supposed to be at work, but who is actually gnawing the feather 
of a pen, and contemplating Bluntschtfs quick, sure, business- 
like progress with a mixture of envious irritation at his own 



4 8 



Arms and the Man Act III 



incapacity, and awestruck wonder at an ability which seems to 
him almost miraculous, though its prosaic character forbids him to 
esteem it. The Major is comfortably established on the ottoman, 
with a newspaper in his hand and the tube of the hookah within 
his reach. Catherine sits at the stove, with her back to them, 
embroidering. Raina, reclining on the divan under the right 
hand window, is gazing in a daydream out at the Balkan land- 
scape, with a neglected novel in her lap. 

The door is on the same side as the stove, further from the 
window. The button of the electric bell is between the door 
and the stove. 

PETKOFF \looking up from his paper to watch how they are 
getting on at the table] Are you sure I cant help you in any 
way, Bluntschli ? 

BLUNTSCHLI \without interrupting his writing or looking up] 
Quite sure, thank you. Saranoff and I will manage it. 

SERGIUS [grimly] Yes : we'll manage it. He finds out 
what to do ; draws up the orders ; and I sign em. Division 
of labour, Major. \_Bluntschli passes him a paper\. Another 
one? Thank you. [He plants the paper squarely before him ; 
sets his chair carefully parallel to it ; and signs with the air 
of a man resolutely performing a difficult and dangerous feaf\. 
This hand is more accustomed to the sword than to the pen. 

PETKOFF. It's very good of you, Bluntschli : it is indeed, 
to let yourself be put upon in this way. Now are you 
quite sure I can do nothing? 

CATHERINE [/ a low warning tone] You can stop in- 
terrupting, Paul. 

PETKOFF [starting and looking round at her] Eh ? Oh ! 
Quite right, my love : quite right. \He takes his newspaper 
up again, but presently lets it drop\ Ah, you havnt been 
campaigning, Catherine : you dont know how pleasant it 
is for us to sit here, after a good lunch, with nothing to do 
but enjoy ourselves. Theres only one thing I want to 
make me thoroughly comfortable. 

CATHERINE. What is that ? 



Act in Arms and the Man 49 

PETKOFF. My old coat. I'm not at home in this one : 
I feel as if I were on parade. 

CATHERINE. My dear Paul, how absurd you are about 
that old coat ! It must be hanging in the blue closet 
where you left it, 

PETKOFF. My dear Catherine, I tell you Ive looked 
there. Am I to believe my own eyes or not ? [Catherine 
quietly rises and presses the button of the electric bell by the fire- 
place]. What are you shewing off that bell for ? [She looks 
at him majestically, and silently resumes her chair and her needle- 
work]. My dear : if you think the obstinacy of your sex 
can make a coat out of two old dressing gowns of Raina's, 
your waterproof, and my mackintosh, youre mistaken 
Thats exactly what the blue closet contains at present. 
[Nicola presents himself~\. 

CATHERINE [unmoved by Petkojfs sally~\ Nicola : go to 
the blue closet and bring your master's old coat here 
the braided one he usually wears in the house. 

NICOLA. Yes, madame. [Nicola goes out] 

PETKOFF. Catherine. 

CATHERINE. Yes, Paul ? 

PETKOFF. I bet you any piece of jewellery you like to 
order from Sophia against a week's housekeeping money, 
that the coat isnt there. 

CATHERINE. Done, Paul. 

PETKOFF [excited by the prospect of a gamble"] Come: here's 
an opportunity for some sport. Wholl bet on it ? Blunt- 
schli : I'll give you six to one. 

BLUNTSCHLI [imperturbably] It would be robbing you. 
Major. Madame is sure to be right. [Without looking up, 
he passes another batch of papers to Sergius] 

SERGIUS [a/so excited] Bravo, Switzerland ! Major : I 
bet my best charger against an Arab mare for Raina that 
Nicola finds the coat in the blue closet. 

PETKOFF [eagerly] Your best char 

CATHERINE [hastily interrupting him] Dont be foolish, 
Paul. An Arabian mare will cost you 50,000 levas. 

VOL. II E 



50 Arms and the Man Act in 

RAINA {suddenly coming out of her picturesque revery] Really, 
mother, if you are going to take the jewellery, I dont see 
why you should grudge me my Arab. 

Nicola comes back with tke coat, and brings it to Petkojf, 
who can hardly believe his eyes, 

CATHERINE. Where was it, Nicola ? 

NICOLA. Hanging in the blue closet, madame. 

PETKOFF. Well, I am d 

CATHERINE [stopping him\ Paul ! 

PETKOFF. I could have sworn it wasnt there. Age is 
beginning to tell on me. I'm getting hallucinations. 
[To Nicola] Here : help me to change. Excuse me, 
Bluntschli. [He begins changing coats, Nicola acting as 
valet']. Remember: I didnt take that bet of yours, Sergius. 
Youd better give Raina that Arab steed yourself, since 
youve roused her expectations. Eh, Raina ? [He looks 
round at her ; but she is again rapt in the landscape. With a 
little gush of parental affection and pride, he points her out to 
them, and says'] She's dreaming, as usual. 

SERGIUS. Assuredly she shall not be the loser. 

PETKOFF. So much the better for her. / shant come 
off so cheap, I expect. [ The change is now complete. Nicola 
goes out with the discarded coat]. Ah, now I feel at home 
at last. [He sits down and takes his newspaper with a grunt 
of relief \ 

BLUNTSCHLI [to Sergius, handing a paper] Thats the last 
order. 

PETKOFF [jumping up~\ What ! finished ? 

BLUNTSCHLI. Finished. [Petkojfgoes beside Sergius; looks 
curiously over his left shoulder as he signs; and says with 
childlike envy] Havnt you anything for me to sign ? 

BLUNTSCHLI. Not necessary. His signature will do. 

PETKOFF. Ah well, I think weve done a thundering good 
day's work. [He goes away from the table]. Can I do any- 
thing more ? 

BLUNTSCHLI. You had better both see the fellows that 
are to take these. [To Sergius] Pack them off at once ; 



Act in Arms and the Man 51 

and shew them that Ive marked on the orders the time 
they should hand them in by. Tell them that if they stop 
to drink or tell stories if theyre five minutes late, theyll 
have the skin taken off their backs. 

SERGIUS [rising indignantly'] I'll say so. And if one of 
them is man enough to spit in my face for insulting him, 
I'll buy his discharge and give him a pension. [He strides 
out, his humanity deeply outraged], 

BLUNTSCHLI [confidentially] Just see that he talks to them 
properly, Major, will you ? 

PETKOFF [officiously] Quite right, Bluntschli, quite right. 
I'll see to it. [He goes to the door importantly, but hesitates 
on the threshold]. By the bye, Catherine, you may as well 
come too. Theyll be far more frightened of you than of 
me. 

CATHERINE [putting down her embroidery] I daresay I had 
better. You will only splutter at them. [She goes out, 
Petkoff holding the door for her and following her], 

BLUNTSCHLI. What a. country ! They make cannons 
out of cherry trees ; and the officers send for their wives 
to keep discipline ! [He begins to fold and docket the papers. 
Raina, who has risen from the divan, strolls down the room 
with her hands clasped behind her, and looks mischievously at him]. 

RAINA. You look ever so much nicer than when we last 
met. [He looks up, surprised]. What have you done to 
yourself? 

BLUNTSCHLI. Washed ; brushed ; good night's sleep and 
breakfast. Thats all. 

RAINA. Did you get back safely that morning ? 

BLUNTSCHLI. Quite, thanks. 

RAINA. Were they angry with you for running away 
from Sergius's charge ? 

BLUNTSCHLI. No, they were glad ; because theyd all just 
run away themselves. 

RAINA [going to the table, and leaning over it towards him] 
It must have made a lovely story for them all that about 
me and my room. 



52 Arms and the Man Act ill 

BLUNTSCHLI. Capital story. But I only told it to one 
of them a particular friend. 

RAINA. On whose discretion you could absolutely rely ? 

BLUNTSCHLI. Absolutely. 

RAINA. Hm ! He told it all to my father and Sergius 
the day you exchanged the prisoners. [She turns away and 
strolls carelessly across to the other side of the room]. 

BLUNTSCHLI [deeply concerned, and half incredulous] No ! 
you dont mean that, do you ? 

RAINA [turning, with sudden earnestness] I do indeed. 
But they dont know that it was in this house you took 
refuge. If Sergius knew, he would challenge you and kill 
you in a duel. 

BLUNTSCHLI. Bless me ! then dont tell him. 

RAINA [full of reproach for his levity] Can you realize 
what it is to me to deceive him ? I want to .he-quite 
perfect with Sergius no meanness, no smallness, no 
deceit. My relation to him is the_one really beautiful and 
noble part of my life. I hope you can understand 
that. 

BLUNTSCHLI [sceptically] You mean that you wouldnt 
like him to find out that the story about the ice pudding 
was a a a You know. 

RAINA [wincing] Ah, dont talk of it in that flippant way. 
I lied : I know it. But I did it to save your life. He 
would have killed you. That was the second time I ever 
uttered a falsehood. [Bluntschli rises quickly and looks doubt- 
fully and somewhat severely at her]. Do you remember the 
first time ? 

BLUNTSCHLI. I ! No. Was I present ? 

RAINA. Yes ; and I told the officer who was searching 
for you that you were not present. 

BLUNTSCHLI. True. I should have remembered it. 

RAINA [greatly encouraged] Ah, it is natural that you 
should forget it first. It cost you nothing : it cost me a 
lie ! a lie ! ! [She sits down on the ottoman, looking straight 
before her with her hands clasped on her knee. Bluntschli, quite 



Act m Arms and the Man 53 

touched, goes to the ottoman with a particularly reassuring and 
considerate air, and sits down beside her]. 

BLUNTSCHLI. My dear young lady, dont let this worry 
you. Remember : I'm a soldier. Now what are the two 
things that happen to a soldier so often that he comes to 
think nothing of them ? One is hearing people tell lies 
[Raina recoils} : the other is getting his life saved in all 
sorts of ways by all sorts of people. 

RAINA [rising in indignant protest] And so he becomes a 
creature incapable of faith and of gratitude. 

BLUNTSCHLI [making a wry face~\ Do you like gratitude ? 
I dont. If pity is akin to love, gratitude is akin to the 
other thing. 

RAINA. Gratitude ! [Turning on him] If you are incap- 
able of gratitude you are incapable of any noble sentiment. 
Even animals are grateful. Oh, I see now exactly what 
you think of me ! You were not surprised to hear me 
lie. To you it was something I probably did every day 
every hour. That is how men think of women. [She walks 
up the room melodramatically], 

BLUNTSCHLI \dubiously\ Theres reason in everything. 

You said youd told only two lies in your whole life. 

Dear young lady : isnt that rather a short allowance ? I'm 

-quite a straightforward man myself; but it wouldnt last 

me a whole morning. 

RAINA [staring haughtily at him] Do you know, sir, that 
you are insulting me ? 

BLUNTSCHLI. I cant help it. When you get into that / 
noble attitude and speak in that thrilling voice, I admire : ; 
you"7 but I find it impossible to believe a single word you 
say. 

RAINA [superbly} Captain Bluntschli ! 

BLUNTSCHLI [unmoved] Yes ? 

RAINA [coming a little towards him, as if she could not believe 
her senses'} Do you mean what you said just now ? Do 
you know what you said just now ? 

BLUNTSCHLI. I do. 



54 Arms and the Man Act ill 

RAINA [gasping] I ! I ! ! ! [ She points to herself incredu* 
ously, meaning "I, Raina Petkojf, tell ties!" He meets her 
gaze unflinchingly. She suddenly sits down beside kirn, and 
adds, with a complete change of manner from the heroic to the 
familiar] How did you find me out ? 

BLUNTSCHLI [promptly] Instinct, dear young lady. In- 
stinct, and experience of the world. 

RAINA [wonderingly] Do you know, you are the first man 
I ever met who did not take me seriously ? 

BLUNTSCHLI. You mean, dont you, that I am the first 
man that has ever taken you quite seriously ? 

RAINA. Yes, I suppose I do mean that. [Cosily, quite 
at her ease with him] How strange it is to be talked to in 
such a way ! You know, Ive always gone on like that 
I mean the noble attitude and the thrilling voice. I did 
it when I was a tiny child to my nurse. She believed in 
it. I do it before my parents. They believe in it. I 
do it before Sergius. He believes in it. 

BLUNTSCHLI. Yes : he's a little in that line himself, isnt 
he? 

RAINA [startled] Do you think so ? 

BLUNTSCHLI. You know him better than I do. 

RAINA. I wonder I wonder is he? If I thought 
that ! [Discouraged] Ah, well : what does it matter? 
I suppose, now youve found me out, you despise me. 

BLUNTSCHLI [warmly, rising] No, my dear young lady, 
no, no, no a thousand times. It's part of your youth 
part of your charm. I'm like all the rest of them the 
nurse your parents Sergius : I'm your infatuated 
admirer. 

RAINA [pleased] Really ? 

BLUNTSCHLI [slapping his breast smartly with his hand t 
German fashion] Hand aufs Herz ! Really and truly. 

RAINA [very happy] But what did you think of me for 
giving you my portrait ? 

BLUNTSCHLI [astonished] Your portrait ! You never gave 
me your portrait. 



J Actm Arms and the Man 55 

RAINA [quickly] Do you mean to say you never got 
it? 

BLUNTSCHLI. No. [He sits down beside her, with renewed 
interest, and says, with some complacency] When did you send 
it to me ? 

RAINA {indignantly} I did not send it to you. [She turns 
her head away, and adds, reluctantly] It was in the pocket 
of that coat. 

BLUNTSCHLI [pursing his lips and rounding his eyes] Oh-o- 
oh ! I never found it. It must be there still. 

RAINA [springing up] There still ! for my father to 
find the first time he puts his hand in his pocket ! Oh, 
how could you be so stupid ? 

BLUNTSCHLI [rising also] It doesnt matter : it's only a 
photograph : how can he tell who it was intended for ? 
Tell him he put it there himself. 

RAINA [impatiently] Yes : that is so clever so clever ! 
Oh, what shall I do ! 

BLUNTSCHLI. Ah, I see. You wrote something on it. 
That was rash. 

RAINA [annoyed almost to tears] Oh, to have done such a 
thing for you, who care no more except to laugh at me 
oh ! Are you sure nobody has touched it ? 

BLUNTSCHLI. Well, I cant be quite sure. You see, I 
couldnt carry it about with me all the time : one cant take 
much luggage on active service. 

RAINA. What did you do with it ? 

BLUNTSCHLI. When I got through to Peerot I had to put 
it in safe keeping somehow. I thought of the railway 
cloak room ; but thats the surest place to get looted in 
modern warfare. So I pawned it. 

RAINA. Pawned it!!! 

BLUNTSCHLI. I know it doesnt sound nice ; but it was 
much the safest plan. I redeemed it the day before yester- 
day. Heaven only knows whether the pawnbroker cleared 
out the pockets or not. 

RAINA \Jurious throwing the words right into his face] 



56 Arms and the Man Act m 

You have a low, shopkeeping mind. You think of things 
that would never come into a gentleman's head. 

BLUNTSCHLI [phlegmatically] Thats the Swiss national 
character, dear lady. 

RAINA. Oh, I wish I had never met you. [She flounces 
away, and sits at the window fuming]. 

Louka comes in with a heap of letters and telegrams on her 
salver, and crosses, with her bold, free gait, to the table. Her 
left sleeve is looped up to the shoulder with a brooch, shew- 
ing her naked arm, with a broad gilt bracelet covering the 
bruise. 

LOUKA [to Bluntschli] For you. [She empties the salver 
recklessly on to the table]. The messenger is waiting. [ She 
is determined not to be civil to a Servian, even if she must 
bring him his letters], 

BLUNTSCHLI [to Ratna] Will you excuse me : the last 
postal delivery that reached me was three weeks ago. 
These are the subsequent accumulations. Four telegrams 

a week old. [He opens one]. Oho ! Bad news ! 
RAINA [rising and advancing a little remorsefully] Bad 

news ? 

BLUNTSCHLI. My father's dead. [He looks at the telegram 
with his lips pursed, musing en the unexpected change in his 
arrangements], 

RAINA. Oh, how very sad ! 

BLUNTSCHLI. Yes : I shall have to start for home in 
an hour. He has left a lot of big hotels behind him 
to be looked after. [He takes up a fat letter in a long blue 
envelope]. Here's a whacking letter from the family 
solicitor. [He pulls out the enclosures and glances over 
them]. Great Heavens ! Seventy ! Two hundred ! [In 
a crescendo of dismay] Four hundred ! Four thousand ! .' 
Nine thousand six hundred ! ! ! What on earth shall I do 
with them all ! 

RAINA [timidly] Nine thousand hotels ? 

BLUNTSCHLI. Hotels ! nonsense. If you only knew ! 

oh, it's too ridiculous ! Excuse me : I must give my 



Act ill Arms and the Man 57 

fellow orders about starting. [He leaves the room hastily, 
with the documents in his hand}. 

LOUKA [tauntingly} He has not much heart, that Swiss, 
though he is so fond of the Servians. He has not a word 
of grief for his poor father. 

RAINA [bitterly} Grief ! a man who has been doing 
nothing but killing people for years ! What does he 
care? What does any soldier care ? [She goes to the door, 
restraining her tears with difficult y]. 

LOUKA. Major Saranoff has been fighting too ; and he 
has plenty of heart left. [Raina, at the door, looks haughtily 
at her and goes out}. Aha ! I thought you wouldnt get 
much feeling out of your soldier. [She is following Raina 
when Nicola enters with an armful of logs for the fir e\. 

NICOLA [grinning amorously at her~\ Ive been trying all 
the afternoon to get a minute alone with you, my girl. 
[His countenance changes as he notices her arm}. Why, what 
fashion is that of wearing your sleeve, child ? 

LOUKA [proudly} My own fashion. 

NICOLA. Indeed ! If the mistress catches you, she'll 
talk to you. [He throws the logs down on the ottoman, and sits 
comfortably beside them}. 

LOUKA. Is that any reason why you should take it on 
yourself to talk to me ? 

NICOLA. Come : dont be so contrairy with me. Ive 
some good news for you. [He takes out some paper money. 
Louka, with an eager gleam in her eyes, comes close, to look at 
it}. See ! a twenty leva bill ! Sergius gave me that, out 
of pure swagger. A fool and his money are soon parted. 
Theres ten levas more. The Swiss gave me that for 
backing up the mistress's and Raina's lies about him. 
He's no fool, he isnt. You should have heard old 
Catherine downstairs as polite as you please to me, telling 
me not to mind the Major being a little impatient ; for 
they knew what a good servant I was after making a 
fool and a liar of me before them all ! The twenty 
will go to our savings ; and you shall have the ten to spend 



58 Arms and the Man Act III 

if youll only talk to me so as to remind me I'm a human 
being. I get tired of being a servant occasionally. 

LOUKA [scornfully] Yes : sell your manhood for 30 
levas, and buy me for 10 ! Keep your money. You 
were born to be a servant. I was not. When you set up 
your shop you will only be everybody's servant instead of 
somebody's servant. 

NICOLA [picking up his logs, and going to the stove] Ah, 
wait till you see. We shall have our evenings to our- 
selves ; and I shall be master in my own house, I promise 
you. [He throws the logs down and kneels at the stove], 

LOUKA. You shall never be master in mine. [She seats 
herself proudly on Sergius's chair]. 

NICOLA [turning, still on his knees, and squatting down 
rather forlornly on his calves, daunted by her implacable dis- 
dain] You have a great ambition in you, Louka. Re- 
member : if any luck comes to you, it was I that made a 
woman of you. 

LOUKA. You ! 

NICOLA [with dogged self-assertion] Yes, me. Who was 
it made you give up wearing a couple of pounds of false 
black hair on your head and reddening your lips and 
cheeks like any other Bulgarian girl ? I did. Who taught 
you to trim your nails, and keep your hands clean, and be 
dainty about yourself, like a fine Russian lady ? Me : do 
you hear that ? me ! [She tosses her head defiantly ; and he 
rises ill humoredly, adding, more coolly] Ive often thought that 
if Raina were out of the way, and you just a little less of a 
fool and Sergius just a little more of one, you might come 
to be one of my grandest customers, instead of only being 
my wife and costing me money. 

LOUKA. I believe you would rather be my servant than 
my husband. You would make more out of me. Oh, I 
know that soul of yours. 

NICOLA [going up close to her for greater emphasis'] Never 
you mind my soul ; but just listen to my advice. If you 
want to be a lady, your present behaviour to me wont do 



Act ill Arms and the Man 59 

at all, unless when we're alone. It's too sharp and im- 
pudent ; and impudence is a sort of familiarity : it shews 
affection for me. And dont you try being high and 
mighty with me, either. Youre like all country girls : you 
think it's genteel to treat a servant the way I treat a stable- 
boy. Thats only your ignorance ; and dont you forget 
it. And dont be so ready to defy everybody. Act as if 
you expected to have your own way, not as if you expected 
to be ordered about. The way to get on as a lady is the 
same as the way to get on as a servant : youve got to know 
your place : thats the secret of it. And you may depend 
on me to know my place if you get promoted. Think 
over it, my girl. I'll stand by you : one servant should 
always stand by another. 

LOUKA [rising impatiently'] Oh, I must behave in my own 
way. You take all the courage out of me with your cold- 
bloodedjwisdom. Go and put those logs on the fire . 
thats the sort oFlhing you understand. [Before Nicola 
can retort, Sergius comes in. He checks himself a moment on 
seeing Louka; then goes to the stove]. 

SERGIUS [to Nicola'] I am not in the way of your work, I 
hope. 

NICOLA [in a smooth, elderly manner] Oh no sir : thank 
you kindly. I was only speaking to this foolish girl about 
her habit of running up here to the library whenever she 
gets a chance, to look at the books. Thats the worst of 
her education, sir : it gives her habits above her station. 
[To Louka] Make that table tidy, Louka, for the Major. 
[He goes out sedately], 

Louka, without looking at Sergius, begins to arrange the 
papers on the table. He crosses slowly to her, and studies 
the arrangement of her sleeve reflectively. 

SERGIUS. Let me see : is there a mark there ? [He turns 
up the bracelet and sees the bruise made by his grasp. She 
stands motionless, not looking at him: fascinated, but on her 
guard}.' Ffff ! Does it hurt ? 

LOUKA. Yes. 



60 Arms and the Man Act ill 

SERGIUS. Shall I cure it ? 

LOUKA [instantly withdrawing herself proudly, but still not 
looking at him] No. You cannot cure it now. 

SERGIUS [masterfully'] Quite sure ? [He makes a move- 
ment as if to take her in his arms]. 

LOUKA. Dont trifle with me, please. An officer should 
not trifle with a servant. 

SERGIUS [touching the arm with a merciless stroke of his 
forefinger] That was no trifle, Louka. 

LOUKA. No. [Looking at him for thejlrst time] Are you sorry? 

SERGIUS [with measured emphasis, folding his arms] I am 
never sorry. 

LOUKA [wistfully] I wish I could believe a man could be 
so unlike a woman as that. I wonder are you really a 
brave man ? 

SERGIUS [unaffectedly, relaxing his attitude] Yes : I am 
a brave man. My heart jumped like a woman's at the 
first shot ; but in the charge I found that I was brave. 
Yes : that at least is real about me. 

LOUKA. Did you find in the charge that the men whose 
fathers are poor like mine were any less brave than the 
men who are rich like you. 

SERGIUS [with bitter levity~\ Not a bit. They all slashed 
and cursed and yelled like heroes. Psha ! the courage_to_ 
rage and kill is cheap. I have an English bull terner who 
has as much of that sort of courage as the whole Bulgarian 
nation, and the whole Russian nation at its back. But he 
lets my groom thrash him, all the same. Thats your 
soldier all over ! No, Louka : your poor men can cut 
throats ; but they are afraid of their officers ; they put 
up with insults and blows ; they stand by and see one 
another punished like children aye, and help to do it 
when they are ordered. And the officers ! well [with 
a short, bitter laugh] I am an officer. Oh, [fervently] 
give me the man who will defy to the death any power on 
earth or in heaven that sets itself up against his own will 
and conscience : he alone is the brave man. 



Act III Arms and the Man 6 1 

LOUKA. How easy it is to talk ! Men never seem to 
me to grow up : they all have schoolboy's ideas. You 
dont know what true courage is. 

SERGIUS [ironically] Indeed ! I am willing to be in- 
structed. 

LOUKA. Look at me ! how much am I allowed to have 
my own will ? I have to get your room ready for you 
to sweep and dust, to fetch and carry. How could that 
degrade me if it did not degrade you to have it done for 
you ? But [with subdued passion] if I were Empress of 
Russia, above everyone in the world, then ah then, 
though according to you I could shew no courage at all, 
you should see, you should see. 

SERGIUS. What would you do, most noble Empress ? 

LOUKA. I would marry the man I loved, which no other 
queen in Europe has the courage to do. If I loved you, 
though you would be as far beneath me as I am beneath 
you, I would dare to be the equal of my inferior. Would 
you dare as much if you loved me? No : if you felt the 
beginnings of love for me you would not let it grow. You 
dare not : you would marry a rich man's daughter because 
you would be afraid of what other people would say of you. 

SERGIUS [carried away] You lie : it is not so, by all the 
stars ! If I loved you, and I were the Czar himself, I 
would set you on the throne by my side. You know that I 
love another woman, a woman as high above you as heaven 
is above earth. And you are jealous of her. 

LOUKA. I have no reason to be. She will never marry 
you now. The man I told you of has come back. She 
will marry the Swiss. 

SERGIUS [recoiling] The Swiss ! 

LOUKA. A man worth ten of you. Then you can come 
to me ; and I will refuse you. You are not good enough 
for me. [She turns to the door]. 

SERGIUS [springing after her and catching her fiercely in his 
arms] I will kill the Swiss ; and afterwards I will do as I 
please with you. 



6 2 Arms and the Man Act ill 

LOUKA [in his arms, passive and steadfast] The Swiss will 
kill you, perhaps. He has beaten you in love. He may 
beat you in war. 

SERGIUS [tormentedly] Do you think I believe that she 
\ she! whose worst thoughts are higher than your best 
[ones, is capable of trifling with another man behind my 
'back ? 

LOUKA. Do you think she would believe the Swiss if 
he told her now that I am in your arms ? 

SERGIUS [releasing her in despair} Damnation ! Oh, 
damnation ! Mockery, mockery everywhere : everything 
I think is mocked by everything I do. [He strikes himself 
frantically on the breast']. Coward, liar, fool ! Shall I kill 
myself like a man, or live and pretend to laugh at myself? 
[She again turns to go]. Louka ! [She stops near the door~\. 
Remember : you belong to me. 

LOUKA [quietly] What does that mean an insult ? 

SERGIUS [commandingly] It means that you love me, and 
that I have had you here \n my arms, and will perhaps 
have you there again. Whether that is an insult I neither 
know nor care : take it as you please. But [vehemently] I 
will not be a coward and a trifler. If I choose to love you, 
' I dare marry you, in spite of all Bulgaria. If these hands 
ever touch you again, they shall touch my affianced bride. 

LOUKA. We shall see whether you dare keep your word. 
But take care. I will not wait long. 

SERGIUS' [again folding his arms and standing motionless in 
the middle of the room] Yes, we shall see. And you shall 
wait my pleasure. 

Blunt schli, much preoccupied, with his papers still in his 
hand, enters, leaving the door open for Louka to go out. He 
goes across to the table, glancing at her as he passes. Sergius, 
without altering his resolute attitude, watches him steadily. 
Louka goes out, leaving the dear open. 

BLUNTSCHLI [absently, sitting at the table as before, and 
putting down his papers] Thats a remarkable looking young 
woman. 



Act ill Arms and the Man 63 

SERGIUS [gravely, without moving] Captain Bluntschli. 

BLUNTSCHLI. Eh ? 

SERGIUS. You have deceived me. You are my rival. 
I brook no rivals. At six o'clock I shall be in the drilling- 
ground on the Klissoura road, alone, on horseback, with 
my sabre. Do you understand ? 

BLUNTSCHLI [staring, but sitting quite at his ease] Oh, 
thank you : thats a cavalry man's proposal. I'm in the 
artillery ; and I have the choice of weapons. If I go, I 
shall take a machine gun. And there shall be no mistake 
about the cartridges this time. 

SERGIUS [flushing, but with deadly coldness] Take care, sir. 
It is not our custom in Bulgaria to allow invitations of that 
kind to be trifled with. 

BLUNTSCHLI \warmly] Pooh ! dont talk to me about 
Bulgaria. You dont know what fighting is. But have 
it your own way. Bring your sabre along. I'll meet 
you. 

SERGIUS [fiercely delighted to find his opponent a man of 
spirit] Well said, Switzer. Shall I lend you my best 
horse ? 

BLUNTSCHLI. No : damn your horse ! thank you all 
the same, my dear fellow. [Raina comes in, and hears tie 
next sentence]. I shall fight you on foot. Horseback's too 
dangerous : I dont want to kill you if I can help it. 

RAINA [hurrying forward anxiously] I have heard what 
Captain Bluntschli said, Sergius. You are going to fight. 
Why ? [Sergius turns away in silence, and goes to the stove, 
where he stands watching her as she continues, to Bluntschli] 
What about ? 

BLUNTSCHLI. I dont know : he hasnt told me. Better 
not interfere, dear young lady. No harm will be done : 
Ive often acted as sword instructor. He wont be able to 
touch me ; and I'll not hurt him. It will save explana- 
tions. In the morning I shall be ofF home ; and youll 
never see me or hear of me again. You and he will then 
make it up and live happily ever after. 



64 Arms and the Man Act in 

RAINA [turning away deeply hurt, almost with a sob in her 
voice] I never said I wanted to see you again. 

SERGIUS [striding forward] Ha ! That is a confession. 

RAINA [haughtily] What do you mean ? 

SERGIUS. You love that man ! 

RAINA [scandalized] Sergius ! 

SERGIUS. You allow him to make love to you behind my 
back, just as you accept me as your affianced husband 
behind his. Bluntschli : you knew our relations j and 
you deceived me. It is for that that I call you to account, 
not for having received favors / never enjoyed. 

BLUNTSCHLI [jumping up indignantly] Stuff ! Rubbish ! 
I have received no favors. Why, the young lady doesnt 
even know whether I'm married or not. 

RAINA [forgetting herself] Oh ! [Collapsing en the otto- 
man] Are you ? 

SERGIUS. You see the young lady's concern, Captain 
Bluntschli. Denial is useless. You have enjoyed the 
privilege of being received in her own room, late at 
night 

BLUNTSCHLI [interrupting him pepperily] Yes, you block- 
head ! She received me with a pistol at her head. Your 
cavalry were at my heels. I'd have blown out her brains 
if she'd uttered a cry. 

SERGIUS [taken aback] Bluntschli ! Raina : is this true ? 

RAINA [rising in wrathful majesty] Oh, how dare you, 
how dare you ? 

BLUNTSCHLI. Apologize, man : apologize ! [He resumes 
his seat at the table], 

SERGIUS [with the old measured emphasis, folding his arms] I 
never apologize ! 

RAINA [passionately] This is the doing of that friend of 
yours, Captain Bluntschli. It is he who is spreading this 
horrible story about me. [She walks about excitedly], 

BLUNTSCHLI. No : he's dead burnt alive. 

RAINA [stopping, shocked] Burnt alive ! 

BLUNTSCHLI. Shot in the hip in a wood-yard. Couldnt 



Act III Arms and the Man 65 

drag himself out. Your fellows' shells set the timber on 
fire and burnt him, with half a dozen other poor devils in 
the same predicament. 

RAINA. How horrible ! 

SERGIUS. And how ridiculous ! Oh, war ! war ! the 
dream of patriots and heroes ! A fraud, Bluntschli, a 
hollow sham, like love. 

RAINA [outraged] Like love ! You say that before me ! 

BLUNTSCHLI. Come, Saranoff : that matter is explained. 

SERGIUS. A hollow sham, I say. Would you have come 
back here if nothing had passed between you except at 
the muzzle of your pistol ? Raina is mistaken about our 
friend who was burnt. He was not my informant. 

RAINA. Who then ? [Suddenly guessing the truth] Ah, 
Louka ! my maid, my servant ! You were with her this 
morning all that time after after Oh, what sort of 
god is this I have been worshipping ! \He meets her gaze 
with sardonic enjoyment of her disenchantment. Angered all 
the more, she goes closer to him, and says, in a lower, intenser 
tone] Do you know that I looked out of the window as I 
went upstairs, to have another sight of my hero ; and I 
saw something I did not understand then. I know now 
that you were making love to her. 

SERGIUS (with grim humor] You saw that ? 

RAINA. Only too well. [She turns away, and throws her- 
self on the divan under the centre window, quite overcome], 

SERGIUS [cynically] Raina : our romance is shattered. 
Life's a farce.. -Jk 

BLUNTSCHLI [to Raina, goodhumoredly] You see: he's 
found himself out now. 

SERGIUS. Bluntschli : I have allowed you to call me a 
blockhead. You may now call me a coward as well. I 
refuse to fight you. Do you know why ? 

BLUNTSCHLI. No ; but it doesnt matter. I didnt ask the 
reason when you cried on ; and I dont ask the reason now 
that you cry off. I'm a pj^fessianal soldier : I jfigh^when 
I have to, and am very glad to get out of it when I havnt 

^ VOL. II F 



66 Arms and the Man Act m 

to. Youre only an amateur : you think fighting's an amuse- 
ment. 

SERGIUS. You shall hear the reason all the same, my 
professional. The reason is that it takes two men real 
men men of heart, blood and honor to make a 
genuine combat. I could no more fight with you than I 
could make love to an ugly woman. Youve no magnetism : 
youre not a man, youre a machine. 

BLUNTSCHLI [apologetically] yuTte true, quite true. I 
always was that sort of chap. I'm very sorry. But now 
that youve found that life isnt a farce, but something 
quite sensible and serious, what further obstacle is there to 
your happiness ? 

RAINA [rising] You are very solicitous about my hap- 
piness and his. Do you forget his new love Louka ? 
It is not you that he must fight now, but his rival, 
Nicola. 

SERGIUS. Rival ! ! [striking his forehead\ 

RAINA. Dont you know that they re engaged ? 

SERGIUS. Nicola ! Are fresh abysses opening ? Nicola ! ! 

RAINA [sarcastically] A shocking sacrifice, isnt it ? Such 
beauty ! such intellect ! such modesty ! wasted on a middle- 
aged servant man. Really, Sergius, you cannot stand by 
and allow such a thing. It would be unworthy of your 
chivalry. 

SERGIUS [losing all self-control^ Viper ! Viper ! [He 
rushes to and fro, raging]. 

BLUNTSCHLI. Look here, Saranoff : youre getting the 
worst of this. 

RAINA [getting angrier] Do you realize what he has done, 
Captain Bluntschli ? He has set this girl as a spy on us ; 
and her reward is that he makes love to her. 

SERGIUS. False ! Monstrous ! 

RAINA. Monstrous ! [Confronting him] Do you deny 
that she told you about Captain Bluntschli being in my 
room ? 

SERGIUS. No j but 



Act in Arms and the Man 67 

RAINA [interrupting'] Do you deny that you were mak- 
ing love to her when she told you ? 

SERGIUS. No ; but I tell you 

RAINA [cutting him short contemptuously] It is unnecessary 
to tell us anything more. That is quite enough for us. 
[She turns away from him and sweeps majestically back to the 
window~\, 

BLUNTSCHLI [quietly, as Sergius, in an agony of mortifica- 
tion, sinks on the ottoman, clutching his averted head between 
his fists] I told you you were getting the worst of it, 
Saranoff. 

SERGIUS. Tiger cat ! 

RAINA [running excitedly to B!untschli~\ You hear this man 
calling me names, Captain Bluntschli ? 

BLUNTSCHLI. What else can he do, dear lady ? He must 
defend himself somehow. Come [very persuasively] : dont 
quarrel. What good does it do ? [Raina, with a gasp, sits 
down on the ottoman, and after a vain effort to look vexedly at 
Bluntschli, falls a viftim to her sense of humor, and can hardly 
help laughing]. 

SERGIUS. Engaged . to Nicola ! [He rises]. Ha ! ha ! 
[Going to the stove and standing with his back to it] Ah well, 
Bluntschli, you are right to take this huge imposture of a 
world coolly. 

RAINA [quaintly to Bluntschli, with an intuitive guess at his 
state of mind] I daresay you think us a couple of grown-up 
babies, dont you ? 

SERGIUS [grinning savagely"] He does, he does. Swiss 
civilization nursetending Bulgarian barbarism, eh ? 

BLUNTSCHLI [blushing] Not at all, I assure you. I'm 
only very glad to get you two quieted. There, there : let's 
be pleasant and talk it over in a friendly way. Where is 
this other young lady ? 

RAINA. Listening at the door, probably. 

SERGIUS [shivering as if a bullet had struck him, and speaking 
with quiet but deep indignation] I will prove that that, at least, 
is a calumny. [He goes with dignity to the door and opens it. 



68 Arms and the Man Act HI 

A yell of fury bursts from him as he looks out. He darts into 
the pas sage ; and returns dragging in Louka, whom he flings 
violently against the table, exclaiming] Judge her, Bluntschli 
you, the cool, impartial man : judge the eaves- 
dropper. 

Louka stands her ground, proud and silent. 

BLUNTSCHLI [shaking his head~\ I musnt judge her. I 
once listened myself outside a tent when there was a mutiny 
brewing. It's all a question of the degree of provocation. 
My life was at stake. 

LOUKA. My love was at stake. [Sergius flinches, ashamed 
of her in spite of himself ']. I am not ashamed. 

RAINA [contemptuously] Your love ! Your curiosity, you 
mean. 

LOUKA [facing her and retorting her contempt with interest] 
My love, stronger than anything you can feel, even for 
your chocolate cream soldier. 

SERGIUS [with quick suspicion, to Louka~\ What does that 
mean ? 

LOUKA [fiercely] It means 

SERGIUS [interrupting her slightingly] Oh, I remember : 
the ice pudding. A paltry taunt, girl ! 

Major Petkoff enters, in his shirtsleeves. 

PETKOFF. Excuse my shirtsleeves, gentlemen. Raina : 
somebody has been wearing that coat of mine : I'll swear 
it somebody with bigger shoulders than mine. It's all 
burst open at the back. Your mother is mending it. I 
wish she'd make haste. I shall catch cold. [He looks more 
attentively at them]. Is anything the matter ? 

RAINA. No. [She sits down at the stove, with a tranquil 
air]. 

SERGIUS. Oh no. [He sits down at the end of the table, as 
at first]. 

BLUNTSCHLI [who is already seated~\ Nothing, nothing. 

PETKOFF [sitting down on the ottoman in his old place"] 
Thats all right. [He notices Louka]. Anything the matter, 
Louka ? 



Act III Arms and the Man 69 

LOUKA. No, sir. 

PETKOFF [genially"] Thats all right. [He sneezes]. Go 
and ask your mistress for my coat, like a good girl, will 
you ? [She turns to obey ; but Nicola enters just then with 
the coat ; and she makes a pretence of having business in the room 
by taking the little table with the hookah away to the wall near 
the windows'], 

RAINA [rising quickly as she sees the coat on Nicola's arm] 
Here it is, papa. Give it to me, Nicola ; and do you put 
some more wood on the fire. [She takes the coat, and brings 
it to the Major, who stands up to put it on. Nicola attends 
to the fire], 

PETKOFF [to Raina, teasing her affectionately] Aha ! Go- 
ing to be very good to poor old papa just for one day after 
his return from the wars, eh ? 

RAINA [with solemn reproach] Ah, how can you say that 
to me, father ? 

PETKOFF. Well, well, only a joke, little one. Come : 
give me a kiss. [She kisses him]. Now give me the coat. 

RAINA. No : I am going to put it on for you. Turn 
your back. [He turns his back and feels behind him with 
his arms for the sleeves. She dexterously takes the photograph 
from the pocket and throws it on the table before Bluntschli, 
who covers it with a sheet of paper under the very nose of 
Sergius, who looks on amazed, with his suspicions roused in the 
highest degree. She then helps Petkojf on with his coaf\. 
There, dear ! Now are you comfortable ? 

PETKOFF. Quite, little love. Thanks. [He sits down; 
and Raina returns to her seat near the stove]. Oh, by the 
bye, Ive found something funny. Whats the meaning of 
this ? [He puts his hand into the picked pocket]. Eh ? 
Hallo ! [He tries the other pocket]. Well, I could have 
sworn ! [Much puzzled, he tries the breastpocket], I wonder 
[trying the original pocket]. Where can it ? [A light flashes 
on him. He rises, exclaiming] Your mother's taken it ! 

RAINA [very red] Taken what ? 

JETKOFF. Your photograph, with the inscription : " Raina, 



70 Arms and the Man Act m 

to her Chocolate Cream Soldier : a souvenir." Now you 
know theres something more in this than meets the eye ; 
and I'm going to find it out. [Shouting] Nicola ! 

NICOLA [dropping a log, and turning] Sir ! 

PETKOFF. Did you spoil any pastry of Miss Raina's this 



morning 



NICOLA. You heard Miss Raina say that I did, sir. 

PETKOFF. I know that, you idiot. Was it true ? 

NICOLA. I am sure Miss Raina is incapable of saying 
' anything that is not true, sir. 

PETKOFF. Are you ? Then I'm not. [Turning to the 
others] Come : do you think I dont 'see it all ? [He goes 
to Sergius, and slaps him on the shoulder], Sergius : youre 
the chocolate cream soldier, arnt you ? 

SERGIUS [starting up] I ! A chocolate cream soldier ! 
Certainly not. 

PETKOFF. Not ! [He looks at them. They are all very 
serious and very conscious~\. Do you mean to tell me that 
Raina sends photographic souvenirs to other men ? 

SERGIUS [enigmatically] The world is not such an in- 
nocent place as we used to think, Petkoff. 

BLUNTSCHLI [rising"] It's all right, Major. I'm the 
chocolate cre'am soldier. [Petkoff and Sergius are equally 
astonished]. The gracious young lady saved my life by 
giving me chocolate creams when I was starving : shall 
I ever forget their flavour ! My late friend Stolz told you 
the story at Peerot. I was the fugitive. 

PETKOFF. You ! [He gasps], Sergius : do you remem- 
ber how those two women went on this morning when we 
~\ mentioned it ? [Sergius smiles cynically. Petkoff confronts 
Raina severely] Youre a nice young woman, arnt you ? 

RAINA [bitterly] Major SaranofF has changed his mind. 
And when I wrote that on the photograph, I did not know 
that Captain Bluntschli was married. 

BLUNTSCHLI [startled into vehement protest] I'm not 
married. 

RAINA [with deep reproach] You said you were. 



Act III Arms and the Man 71 

BLUNTSCHLI. I did not. I positively did not. I never 
was married in my life. 

PETKOFF [exasperated"] Raina : will you kindly inform 
me, if I am not asking too much, which of these gentle- 
men you are engaged to ? 

RAINA. To neither of them. This young lady [intro- 
ducing Louka, who faces them all proudly] {3 the object of 
Major Saranoff's affections at present. 

PETKOFF. Louka ! Are you mad, Sergius ? Why, this 
girl's engaged to Nicola. 

NICOLA [coming forward] I beg your pardon, sir. There 
is a mistake. Louka is not engaged to me. 

PETKOFF. Not engaged to you, you scoundrel ! Why, 
you had twenty-five levas from me on the day of your be- 
trothal ; and she had that gilt bracelet from Miss Raina. 

NICOLA [with cool unction] We gave it out so, sir. But 
it was only to give Louka protection. She had a soul 
above- her station ; and I have been no more than her 
confidential servant. I intend, as you know, sir, to set up 
a shop later on in Sofeea ; and I look forward to her custom 
and recommendation should she marry into the nobility. 
[He goes out with impressive discretion, leaving them all 
staring after him], 

PETKOFF [breaking the silence] Well, I am hm ! 

SERGIUS. This is either the finest heroism or the most 
crawling baseness. Which is it, Bluntschli ? 

BLUNTSCHLI. Never mind whether it's heroism or base- 
ness. Nicola's the ablest man Ive met in Bulgaria. I'll 
make him manager of a hotel if he can speak French and 
German. 

LOUKA [suddenly breaking out at Sergius] I have been 
insulted by everyone here. You set them the example. 
You owe me an apology. [ Sergius, like a repeating clock 
of which the spring has been touched, immediately begins to 
fold his arms], 

BLUNTSCHLI [before he can speak] It's no use. He never 
apologizes. 



72 Arms and the Man Act III 

LOUKA. Not to you, his equal and his enemy. To me, 
his poor servant, he will not refuse to apologize. 

SERGIUS [approvingly] You are right. [He bends his knee 
in his grandest manner] Forgive me. 

LOUKA. I forgive you. [She timidly gives him her hand, 
which he kisses]. That touch makes me your affianced wife. 

SERGIUS [springing up] Ah, I forgot that ! 

LOUKA [coldly] You can withdraw if you like. 

SERGIUS. Withdraw ! Never ! You belong to me. [He 
puts his arm about her]. 

Catherine comes in and Jinds Louka in Sergius' s arms, with 
all the rest gazing at them in bewildered astonishment. 

CATHERINE. What does this mean? [Sergius releases Louka]. 

PETKOFF. Well, my dear, it appears that Sergius is going 
to marry Louka instead of Raina. [She is about to break 
out indignantly at him: fte stops her by exclaiming testily] 
Dont blame me: Ive nothing to do with it. [He retreats 
to the stove]. 

CATHERINE. Marry Louka ! Sergius : you are bound 
by your word to us ! 

SERGIUS [folding his arms] Nothing binds me. 

BLUNTSCHLI [much pleased by this piece of common sense] 
Saranoff : your hand. My congratulations. These heroics 
of yours have their practical side after all. [To Louka] 
Gracious young lady : the best wishes of a good Republi- 
can ! [He kisses her hand, to Raina's great disgust], 

CATHERINE [threateningly] Louka : you have been telling 
stories. 

LOUKA. I have done Raina no harm. 

CATHERINE [haughtily] Raina! [Raina is equally indignant 
at the liberty], 

LOUKA. I have a right to call her Raina : she calls me 
Louka. I told Major Saranoff she would never marry him 
if the Swiss gentleman came back. 

BLUNTSCHLI [surprised] Hallo ! 

LOUKA [turning to Raina] I thought you were fonder of 
him than of Sergius. You know best whether I was right. 



Act III Arms and the Man 73 

BLUNTSCHLI. What nonsense ! I assure you, my dear 
Major, my dear Madame, the gracious young lady simply 
saved my life, nothing else. She never cared two straws 
\ for me. Why, bless my heart and soul, look at the young 
lady and look at me. She, rich, young, beautiful, with 
*; her imagination full of fairy princes and nx>ble natures and 
cavalry charges and goodness knows what ! And I, a 
commonplace Swiss soldier who hardly knows what a 
decent life is after fifteen years of barracks and battles : 
a vagabond, a man who has spoiled all his chances in 
life through an incurably romantic disposition, a man 

SERGIUS [starting as if a needle had pricked him and interrupt- 
ing Bluntschli in incredulous amazement} Excuse me, Blunt- 
schli : what did you say had spoiled your chances in life ? 

BLUNTSCHLI [promptly] An incurably romantic disposi- 
tion. I ran away from home twice when I was a boy. I 
went into the army instead of into my father's business. 
I climbed the balcony of this house when a man of sense 
would have dived into the nearest cellar. I came sneaking 
back here to have another look at the young lady when 
any other man of my age would have sent the coat back 

PETKOFF. My coat ! 

BLUNTSCHLI. yes : thats the coat I mean would 
have sent it back and gone quietly home. Do you suppose 
I am the sort of fellow a young girl falls in love with ? 
Why, look at our ages ! I'm thirty-four : I dont suppose 
the young lady is much over seventeen. {This estimate 
produces a marked sensation, all the rest turning and staring at 
one another. He proceeds innocently] All that adventure 
which was life or death to me, was only a schoolgirl's game 
to her chocolate creams and hide and seek. Heres the 
proof ! [He takes the photograph from the table]. Now, I 
ask you, would a woman who took the affair seriously have 
sent me this and written on it : " Raina, to her Chocolate 
Cream Soldier : a souvenir" ? [He exhibits the photograph 
triumphantly, as if it settled the matter beyond all possibility of 
refutation]. 



74 Arms and the Man Act III 

PETKOFF. Thats what I was looking for. How the 
deuce did it get there ? 

BLUNTSCHLI \to Raina, complacently] I have put every- 
thing right, I hope, gracious young lady. 

RAINA [in uncontrollable vexation] I quite agree with your 
account of yourself. You are a romantic idiot. [Bluntschli 
is unspeakably taken aback]. Next time, I hope you will 
know the difference between a schoolgirl of seventeen and 
a woman of twenty-three. 

BLUNTSCHLI [stupejied] Twenty-three ! [She snaps the 
photograph contemptuously from his hand; tears it across ; and 
throws the pieces at his feet], 

SERGIUS [with grim enjoyment of his rival's discomfiture"] 
Bluntschli : my one last belief is gone. Your sagacity is 
a fraud, like all the other things. You have less sense 
than even I have. 

BLUNTSCHLI [overwhelmed^ Twenty -three ! Twenty- 
three !! [He considers"]. Hm ! [Swiftly making up his mind~\ 
In that case, Major Petkoff, I beg to propose formally to 
become a suitor for your daughter's hand, in place of Major 
Saranoff retired. 

RAINA. You dare ! 

BLUNTSCHLI. If you were twenty-three when you said 
those things to me this afternoon, I shall take them seriously. 

CATHERINE [loftily polite] I doubt, sir, whether you quite 
realize either my daughter's position or that of Major 
Sergius Saranoff, whose place you propose to take. The 
Petkoffs and the Saranoffs are known as the richest and 
most important families in the country. Our position is 
almost historical : we can go back for nearly twenty years. 

PETKOFF. Oh, never mind that, Catherine. [To Blunt- 
schli] We should be most happy, Bluntschli, if it were only 
a question of your position ; but hang it, you know, Raina 
is accustomed to a very comfortable establishment. Sergius 
keeps twenty horses. 

BLUNTSCHLI. But what on earth is the use of twenty 
horses ? Why, it's a circus I 



Act ill Arms and the Man 75 

CATHERINE [severely] My daughter, sir, is accustomed to 
a first-rate stable. 

RAINA. Hush, mother : youre making me ridiculous. 

BLUNTSCHLI. Oh well, if it comes to a question of an 
establishment, here goes ! [He darts impetuously to the table 
and seizes the papers in the blue envelope} How many horses 
did you say ? 

SERGIUS. Twenty, noble Switzer. 

BLUNTSCHLI. I have two hundred horses. [They are 
amazed~\. How many carriages ? 

SERGIUS. Three. 

BLUNTSCHLI. I have seventy. Twenty-four of them will 
hold twelve inside, besides two on the box, without counting 
the driver and conductor. How many tablecloths have you ? 

SERGIUS. How the deuce do I know ? 

BLUNTSCHLI. Have you four thousand ? 

SERGIUS. No. 

BLUNTSCHLI. I have. I have nine thousand six hundred 
pairs of sheets and blankets, with two thousand four hundred 
eider-down quilts. I have ten thousand knives and forks, 
and the same quantity of dessert spoons. I have six hundred 
servants. I have six palatial establishments, besides two 
livery stables, a tea gardens and a private house. I have 
four medals for distinguished services ; I have the rank of 
an officer and the standing of a gentleman ; and I have 
three native languages. Show me any man in Bulgaria 
that can offer as much ! 

PETKOFF \with childish awe] Are you Emperor of Switzer- 
land ? 

BLUNTSCHLI. My rank is the highest known in Switzer- 
land : I am a free citizen. 

CATHERINE. Then, Captain Bluntschli, since you are 
my daughter's choice, I shall not stand in the way of her 
happiness. \Petkoff is about to speak] That is Major 
Petkoff's feeling also. 

PETKOFF. Oh, I shall be only too glad. Two hundred 
horses ! Whew ! 



7 6 



Arms and the Man Act III 



SERGIUS. What says the lady ? 

RAINA [pretending to sulk] The lady says that he can 
keep his tablecloths and his omnibuses. I am not here to 
be sold to the highest bidder. 

BLUNTSCHLI. I wont take that answer. I appealed to 
you as a fugitive, a beggar, and a starving man. You ac- 
cepted me. You gave me your hand to kiss, your bed to 
sleep in, and your roof to shelter me 

RAINA [interrupting him] I did not give them to the Em- 
peror of Switzerland. 

BLUNTSCHLI. Thats just what I say. [He catches her 
hand quickly and looks her straight in the face as he adds, with 
confident mastery] Now tell us who you did give them to. 

RAINA [succumbing with a shy smile] To my chocolate 
cream soldier. 

BLUNTSCHLI [with a boyish laugh of delight] Thatll do. 
Thank you. [He looks at his watch and suddenly becomes busi- 
nesslike]. Time's up, Major. Youve managed those regi- 
ments so well that youre sure to be asked to get rid of some 
of the Infantry of the Teemok division. Send them home 
by way of Lorn Palanka. Saranoff : dont get married 
until I come back : I shall be here punctually at five in 
the evening on Tuesday fortnight. Gracious ladies 
good evening. [He makes them a military bow, and goes\* 

SERGIUS. What a man ! What a man ! 







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A88 
1920 



Shaw, George Bernard 
Arms and the man 



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